Even though many of the programs he has put through congress have been watered down by the Republican controlled house, one of the noteworthy accomplishments that President Obama can put his name on is the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. DADT was put in place in 1993 as a compromise with other members of congress that let gay and lesbian Americans serve in the military, but would not be able to disclose the fact that they were homosexual. The policy was officially eliminated on September 20, 2011.
As the majority of Democrats have been standing up for the civil rights of minorities, the disabled and the LGBT community, the Republican party along with the Tea Party have fought hard to stomp out these rights. A few weeks ago, a Republican presidential debate gave us a great example of the bigotry of the Republican party. When a soldier in Iraq appeared on the video wall, he came clean that he was a homosexual and asked what Republican candidate Rick Santorum would do about DADT. Once the question was finished, boos could be heard from the conservative crowd, disgusted that a gay solider has even asked that question. As the rest of the Republican candidates kept quiet, not even acknowledging the question, Sanotrum made it clear that he would bring back DADT as soon as he was elected. Santorum is still standing by this statement and candidates like Michele Bachmann have decided to hold the same position.
The Republican party and their conservative members have a blind spot when it comes to reality. Some of the comments that have been made by Republican candidates and republican voters are shameful. The radical religious right have demonized members of the LGBT community for being sinners who will burn on the lake of fire for violating their religious doctrine, others just don’t like the idea of people who are different from them. For America to continue to prosper and accept everyone as equals, we can’t continue to look back or step on the break of progress. America, though it has its faults, is a great nation with the ability to continue to evolve and be even greater. Standing in front of progress however, will only slow the progression down.