JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

I know a man who, over the past few weeks, has prayed to God for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” not to be overturned.

God doesn’t listen to such fools.

Today, in a truly important and historically significant move, the Senate joined the House in voting to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and allow gay soldiers to serve openly in the Armed Forces.

It’s about time.

The idea that gays were allowed to be members of the armed forces, but that they had to be closeted members, was pathetic. You can die for this nation, but you can’t die openly. You take an oath to uphold certain dignities, but you are not granted the dignity to be honest and open. Long ago someone decided that gays were not worthy of equal citizenship, and the military reminded them of that every single day.

No longer.

Eight Republicans voted to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and they deserve huge props for going against the party line and doing what was right. They are: Susan Collins of Maine,  Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, John Ensign of Nevada, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and George V. Voinovich of Ohio.

Meanwhile, what’s left to say about the stunning decline and demise of John McCain, a once-admirable figure now wallowing in a puddle of sludge. “I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage,” he said. “And we could possibly and probably, as the commandant of the Marine Corps said, and as I have been told by literally thousands of members of the military, harm the battle effectiveness vital to the survival of our young men and women in the military.”

Yes, Senator, let the homophobes and bigots determine what’s right. Let them say who can serve openly and who can’t.

Bad news—you lost.

Righteousness won.