Today President Obama signed the law that repeals Don't Ask Don't Tell, the policy that gave the military the ability to discharge gay and lesbian personnel that didn't hide their sexual identity or assume the illusion they were heterosexual.
While this is a great advancement in equality, the little asterisk that accompanies the repeal gives me pause.
The new law, eventually, ends the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian service members. The policy will be repealed 60 days after Obama, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen all certify that the military is ready for repeal. That won't happen until the military completes its implementation plan, which includes extensive training and education for all branches of the armed forces.
The repeal can't simply go into effect? They can't just stop discharging service members? This notion that we need to prepare everyone for this reinforces the fact that many people don't get that people who are homosexual are just people, the same people they've been living and serving with and probably related to all along. And if the military thinks it needs to provide extensive training and education about coexisting & working together with people, excuse me gay people, I can only imagine what it might involve.