I have just watched the signing of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell in C-Span, and I want to take a moment to memorialize this moment. It is an extraordinary moment, a unique moment. No other sitting president has regularly included gay and lesbian men and women in his stock speeches -- routinely talking about "all Americans, white or black, Christian or Jewish, old and young, rich or poor, gay or straight ..." If you are not as old as I am, you may have trouble understanding just how revolutionary this has been. In my lifetime, same-sex emotional and physical relationships have gone from being objects of ridicule or "the love that has no name" to an acknowledged and accepted part of American life. Let us recall that today, in many other parts of the world, homosexuality is not merely a crime but a capital crime.
When Obama spoke, I wept, and I am not ashamed to admit it, not merely for my son, who was in the room this morning when Obama signed the bill, but for the millions of men and women who are now officially recognized as part of the American community. Anti-gay bigotry still flourishes, of course, as does naked racial hatred -- witness the appalling statements made just this week by Haley Barbour, who fancies himself presidential material. But the John McCains and Jon Kyls, like the Haley Barbours, are now decisively and irretrievably on the wrong side of history.
The bill is signed. It is law. We need no longer speculate about the outcome of court cases, or the leanings of the Supreme Court. With this step taken, we can move on to that other terrible legacy of the Clinton years, the Defense of Marriage Act. Save your snarking for another day. This is a day for celebration.