A step in the right direction

By Kyle Brown
Entertainment Editor
After 18 years in effect, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), the U.S. military’s policy on LGBT servicemen and women, has been repealed, going into effect Tuesday, following the certification sent to Congress on July 22 from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
There is no question that this is a momentous step for the gay rights movement as well as for the armed forces, who issued a training program to some 2.5 million troops to ease adaptation to  the new rules.
This is the kind of change that I’ve been yearning to see for the last three years of Obama’s presidency, the kind of sweeping change he promised us all the way back in 2008 when his orations captivated millions, the kind of change that’s been too long in the making.

Not only is the repeal of DADT a sign of more changes yet to come, it also serves as a reminder of what we signed on for, what the Republican party has impeded for so long: actual progress.
Although it won’t fix our economy, it will fix a huge problem with our military. I find it ridiculous that we disallowed men and women in our armed forces from being true to who they are. What does it really matter anyway? Gay or straight, they are overseas fighting for our freedom here at home.
13,000 soldiers were discharged from the army under DADT, 13,000 people who signed up to defend their country who were denied the chance. My friends, there is nothing less patriotic than to stop a fellow countryman from fighting so that we can live our lives here at home.
Hopefully the absence of DADT will help our government focus on other pressing issues with the gay community, such as the rights to marry and adopt children. I understand that not everyone in the country is completely open to LGBT rights, but let’s look at how well a simple compromise could work out for everyone.
As an example, Canada is one of the most progressive countries as far as LGBT rights go. They have had same-sex marriage legalized nationwide since 2005, same-sex adoption is legal in most provinces, homosexuals have the right to serve in the military and Canadians even have the legal right to change their gender.
Canada’s system has worked out very well for them. Three of their political parties support LGBT rights, and there is little conflict within their borders about the issue except from citizens in rural and remote locations.
America is a long way off from being as relaxed about gay rights policies as Canada is, but I’m optimistic about where we could be headed in the next decade.