Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.
Rep. Barney Frank hugs Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an enrollment ceremony for the bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Today, the president will sign a bill repealing "don't ask, don't tell," the 1993 law that bars gays from serving openly in the military. Given the amount of public support for allowing gay people to serve openly (over two-thirds of Americans favor repeal), it had largely become a question of when and how -- and not if -- the law would be repealed. All except the most committed opponents had abandoned arguing on the merits; they quibbled about process, timing, and implementation. On this issue, conservatives made clear they were in what Focus on the Family's James Dobson described as a cultural "holding pattern," trying to delay the inevitable. For all the sad stories of gay service members who've been victims of this institutionalized discrimination, the fight over DADT has been about more than just gays in the military (who, by some estimates, already make up 2 percent of active service members). The true fight has been about what it means to say, "I am gay" -- whether the...
(Flickr/ U.S. Mission Geneva ) US and Russian Federation Presentation on New START Treaty in June. Today, Russia warned the U.S. not to amend the agreement. "I can only underscore that the strategic nuclear arms treaty, worked out on the strict basis of parity, in our view fully answers to the national interests of Russia and the United States,” said Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, according to The New York Times .
(White House/Samantha Appleton) President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pretend to sing with an a cappella group in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House during a holiday reception.
On this week's podcast from The American Prospect : Tim Fernholz , Monica Potts , and Jamelle Bouie discuss Richard Holbrooke 's untimely death, the war in Afghanistan, and the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Listen Now: To download the mp3 directly, click here . Also, if you just want the RSS feed, it's here . We're on iTunes! Click "subscribe" to the right to get TAP's Take automatically delivered to your iTunes library every week.