The Senate just voted 65-31 to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on lesbians, gays and bisexuals serving openly in the military. I’m speechless. My face is wet with all the losses we’ve suffered. And I’m remembering those I know who sacrificed. In Silence. Whose families suffered. In Silence. Whose families struggled because they had none of the support other families receive from the military. Whose life partners walked in terror that they would be the last to know of the wounding or death of the person they loved most in the world.
I don’t know how you can discuss goodness without mentioning courage. All of us will be called on at one time or another to stand up for what we know is right, even if we’re frightened we might lose our job or worse. Today I cheer the courage of the members of the U.S. Senate who just voted to repeal DADT. Their votes and the earlier vote of 57 Democrats and 6 Republications to break the filibuster on the bill erase a stain on our nation’s honor.
Even more important, today I celebrate the courage of all who have been forced to serve in silence. I cheer their partners and their children. I honor all who served with honor in the past in the deafening, horrifying silence. This is your day.
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