In a move that will be welcomed by the gay community in the US President Barack Obama has pledged to remove the ban on gay men and women serving in the US military.
The current policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” where gay personnel have to hide their sexuality is looking increasingly out of place in a modern army by excluding a large minority who have valuable skills to offer their country, simply on the basis of their sexuality.
Obama stated “We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve the country,” Mr Obama said. We should be celebrating their willingness to step forward and show such courage.”
What might make his words sound less powerful is that he has yet to commit to a timetable for the changes to legislation. Even less palatable to gay rights campaigners is his reluctance to directly assert himself in efforts to change the law regarding gay marriage/partnerships and how state government choose to interpret and enforce the current Defence of Marriage Act.