Sixty years ago as a private in the US Army stationed in Germany, I worked on the integration plan for the 7th Army which was part of the opening stages toward ending discrimination against Negroes in our armed forces. Today, I can celebrate with all Americans the beginning stage of ending discrimination against our gay and lesbian citizens who serve their country. President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta formally certified the end of an era which caused pain to so many brave young men and women whose only crime was love of nation and desire to serve in its defense. President Obama cited the end of discrimination which has undermined “our military readiness and violated American principles of fairness and equity.”
It is expected that by September 20 the last legal barriers will be destroyed and gay and lesbian members of the armed forces will not longer have to hide in closets.