Last night the US senate approved landmark legislation overturning the ‘Don’t ask Don’t tell’ (DADT for short) law which prevented openly gay individuals from serving in the military. Over 13,000 personel had been dismissed under the DADT law since its introduction in 1993. The law was introduced by Bill Clinton as a compromise after facing stiff opposition when he claimed he wanted to completely lift the ban on gays in the military. The decision will be seen as a victory for President Obama who made overturning DADT one of his key policies, the vote was passed with a majority of 65-31 with even some moderate republicans joining forces with the democrats.
In September of this year the fight to overturn DADT gained an influential supporter, Lady Gaga, who led a rally in Maine denouncing the policy and demanding it be overturned. When the decision was made Gaga, a fervent gay rights campaigner tweeted:
Can’t hold back the tears+pride. We did it!i Our voice was heard + today the Senate REPEALED DADT. A triumph for equality after 17 YEARS.
People opposed to the overturning of DADT claim allowing homosexuals to openly serve will have a detrimental effect on morale in the armed forces at a time when they need it most, this farfetched claim comes despite general opinion polls showing approval for the decision.
Hopefully this progressive decision will further American gay rights and help the fight to legalise gay marriage across the country. America rarely receives anything but criticism, especially here in the UK, but for this decision, they have to praised – well done America!