"I will end 'don't ask-don't tell" - Barack Obama
In a speech addressed to about 3,000 Gay and Civil Rights advocates, Obama announced the much awaited follow-through of a campaign promise to end the 'don't ask-don't tell' policy in the military that prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because "it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." The deplorable act, authored in 1993 by Colin Powell and maintained by former presidents Clinton and Bush, also prohibits any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces.
Acknowledging that the policy changes he promised on the campaign trail are not coming as quickly as expected, Obama reaffirmed his commitment to end the ban, but did not give a timetable or the specifics that some activists have called for, however, he asked his supporters to trust his administration's course.
While critics would most likely see this as just another empty promise or shrug it off as something said to appease a major sector of the society that supported Obama's bid for the presidency, I believe that the gay and lesbian community has not had a top public figure proclaim support for their cause ever at the risk of getting the ire of the conservatives and some Catholics/Christians who see gays and lesbians as the devil incarnate and would much rather rally for bigotry while preaching the word of God. These open words of support alone is a declaration to those with closed minds that change is indeed on the way and that the reign of bigots who rule with fear, misinformation and the threat of eternal damnation is about to come to an end.