Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Well, that's a nice way to end a tumultuous year, huh? In Las Vegas last summer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised Army Lt. Dan Choi he would hold Choi's West Point ring in safekeeping until Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed. Today, President Obama signed the repeal bill that passed first and foremost because Reid indefatigably navigated it through the treacherous waters of the U.S. Senate against some mighty tough odds. What was left for dead two weeks ago is now the law, and American national security will no longer be unpatriotically compromised by irrational bigotry. Reid Tweeted that image, above.
This outcome forces me to eat my words, and I'm delighted to do so. I've faulted gay activists in Las Vegas for not pressuring Reid more, especially during the election. But the work of many both in front and behind the scenes has paid off indeed, not just with Reid's commitment to taking care of this matter but also in somehow persuading Republican Sen. John Ensign to vote to repeal the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. I've never been happier to have been wrong. It is Reid, far more than Obama, who gets the credit here.
Choi, who was committed involuntarily to a mental ward of a VA hospital earlier this month because the stress of the effort to repeal DADT overwhelmed him, had an amusing Tweet:
Here's the emotional scene in Vegas last summer that led to this triumphant one above: