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The Morning After DADT Was Repealed

December 19, 2010

Countless column inches in newspapers and blogs have been devoted to the historic vote on Saturday that repealed DADT.  But just a just few paragraphs below sums up the tone I have held all along as this debate in the nation bubbled over the many years.  The policy was wrong, most Americans opposed it, and the younger generations are not wedded to the bigotry of the past.

Huge applause to all those who saw the light and followed it.

In a sign of the cultural shift, even some steadfast conservatives climbed aboard the repeal effort at the last moment. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) cast an unexpected vote in favor, citing a “generational transition that has taken place in our nation.” Sen.-elect Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) also said he supported ending “don’t ask.”

“It’s like this great wave. It’s molecular change — more and more of the public either understands that discrimination isn’t right, or they don’t get the issue being an issue at all,” said Dudley Clendinen, an author and historian of the gay-rights movement.

“It’s ludicrous that this is even a battle, but that’s just the reality. The Beltway is usually the last place to catch on what’s going on in the country,” Mixner said.

The vote of Burr, 55, is especially illustrative of the shifting culture.

Such a stance would have been unthinkable just a few years ago by a GOP senator from the state that sent Jesse Helms to Washington for 30 years.

But North Carolina, like the rest of the country, isn’t the same place  as it was when the policy was implemented.

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