Recently, the legitimacy of the DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) program has come to the forefront of political debate. Last week, during President Obama’s State of the Union address, he announced that this year he is planning to "repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." Can we really trust this to be true? Can we really expect this entire program to be dismantled so quickly?
I’m not so sure. Like discharged soldier Anthony Woods, whose military career was ended at the hands of DADT, I believe we need to go about repealing this carefully. While I believe DADT to be an evil, discriminatory thing, and the sooner it is removed the better, I believe radical change is never in the benefit of anyone. Especially with what has had such a strong opposition in the past.
The HRC (Human Rights Campaign) have made tremendous advancements towards the rights of the queer community and because of this the overall acceptance of the queer community has increased drastically in recent years. Attest to this is shown in the legalization of equal marriage in D.C. But have we come far enough that our nation’s defenders can openly be themselves while in uniform? I sure hope so.
And while the day is still not here, and while it won’t be tomorrow, I can say without being naïve or idealistic that the day will come when we can freely love those we choose to love with the full protection of the law. With the recent support of General Colin Powell to repeal DADT, I feel comfortable that change is in motion. However, it’s the time limit Obama has set for himself that still leaves me with much skepticism.