President Obama has signed the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. The policy was originally enacted in 1993. Over 14,000 members of the military have been discharged because of the policy since its enactment.
This is a major victory for Obama’s administration as well as gay rights groups across the country, as now, members of the armed forces will not have to hide or downplay their sexual preferences. Obama commented that the repeal will strengthen national security and Americans soldiers will no longer be asked to “live a lie.” Proponents of the repeal believe the measures will help eliminate discrimination against gays in the armed forces.
The policy will not be effective immediately. In fact, it may take several months before the policy is in effect. Officials will not spend some time redrafting current laws and directives to bring them into compliance with the repeal.
However, not everyone is pleased with the repeal. Opponents of the repeal say that the law is irrelevant to the performance of the military. There was also internal opposition; the army and marine opposed the measure more than the military as a whole.