At 12:01 am ET today, the military's repeal of its Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy took effect. Top Pentagon officials declared in a statement "gay and lesbian soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve" from this day forward.
This moment marks tremendous historical progress for the United States after 18 years under a policy that prevented scores of service members from being themselves. We discussed this "end of an error" with Dan Savage last night.
Many of these soldiers are now harnessing the bravery they always display on the battlefield and applying it to their personal lives by coming out to their friends and family. Navy officer Gary Ross immediately married his long-time partner in Vermont. And a young soldier called his father to tell him he was gay and recorded the whole conversation in this highly emotional video.