2:10: President Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision (Live on Facebook – and here)
President Barack Obama and Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi pet Bo, the Obama family dog, at the conclusion of their meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 19, 2012. Attendees included Danny Russel, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Ricky Watson of Littleton, Colorado wipes tears from his eyes after he thanked President Barack Obama for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado, September 13. Watson was kicked out of the Air Force 25 years ago for being gay.
Andrew Sullivan: DADT is dead …. The video above tells you all you need to know .….. I remain intensely grateful for the Obama administration in getting this done and for the military itself which was far more mature about this than so many posturing politicians. This is truly a new day – one so many of us dreamed of but which has now come to pass.
President Obama: Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed. As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service.
I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans. Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.
For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens. Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans. Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.
President Barack Obama signs the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 at the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 2010
Greg Sargent: It’s over: The United States Army has become the first branch of the armed services to formally end its “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. An announcement is expected for tomorrow, but my Post colleague Ed O’Keefe obtained the actual document sent to soldiers around the globe today announcing the change:
Today marks the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” The law is repealed. From this day forward, gay and lesbian Soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our rules, regulations and politics reflect the repeal guidance issued by the Department of Defense and will apply uniformly without regard to sexual orientation, which is a personal and private matter.
…. we expect all personnel to follow our Values by implementing the repeal fully, fairly and in accordance with policy guidance. It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect, while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks…..
Separately, the military has begun accepting applications from openly gay recruits…
….. even when repeal seemed within reach, success was anything but assured. It only came after a nearly pitch-perfect effort by Obama and the military leadership to create the political conditions necessary to bring about repeal, as well as well as some very shrewd public and private gamesmanship by Senate leaders that left GOP moderates with little choice but to do the right thing….