"Don’t ask, don’t tell" repeal a watershed moment for LGBTs in 2010
The repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers proved a watershed moment in LGBT history, but it almost did not happen.
Republicans successfully blocked debate of a "don’t ask, don’t tell" repeal bill on the U.S. Senate floor in September. Congressman Patrick Murphy [D-Pa.], U.S. Sens. Joseph Lieberman [I-Conn.] and Kirsten Gillibrand [D-N.Y.] and even Lady Gaga championed the measure, but it took a lame duck session of Congress to finally get the job done.
In spite of objections from U.S. Sen. John McCain [R-Ariz.] and other Republicans, the U.S. Senate voted 65-31 on Dec. 18 to repeal the Clinton-era law. And President Obama signed the bill into law on Dec. 22.
"No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military-regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance-because they happen to be gay," said Obama. "No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder, in order to serve the country that they love."
"Don’t ask, don’t tell" will remain until 60 days after the Pentagon and the president officially certify the law’s repeal. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network continues to advice gay and lesbian soldiers not to come out as long as "don’t ask, don’t tell" is in effect.