After years of debate, the military can no longer prevent gays from serving openly in its ranks as of this morning at 12:01 a.m. EDT.
On Tuesday, the Army released a business-as-usual statement about the 1993 law’s repeal, saying only: “The law is repealed.”
Elsewhere, the celebration was a little less subdued.
As rights groups woke up Tuesday, they tweeted comments like, “It’s a great day! [Why] do you ask is it a great day? Because, DADT is finally repealed!!!”
Some shared photos of rainbow-colored PT reflective belts for soldiers. Joshua Foust, a think tank fellow who has written on defense and intelligence for PBS and the Atlantic, sarcastically suggested a uniform of “feather boa and sparkle shoes,” though he followed it up by writing, “Oh? It's business as usual? Oh.”
Others celebrated the launch of a magazine called “OutServe” that tells the story of gay troops, or shared locations of where to celebrate in their city. The Post’s Checkpoint Washington blog shared a bit about the history of DADT, a policy that was the brainchild of sociology professor Charles Moskos.
Gay Latino blogger Blabbeano tweeted this photo of the gravestone of gay soldier Leonard Matlovich:
In Virginia, a couple celebrated the end of the “pronoun game,” in which one of them had to continually refer to a fictitious “she” in his life. In Vermont, a Navy officer and his partner got married at the stroke of midnight, and the Navy officer wore his uniform to the ceremony.
President Barack Obama shared a video in which four veterans shared their DADT stories:
And thousands of miles away, a U.S. soldier stationed in Germany who goes by the name “Are you surprised” on YouTube and Twitter celebrated a different way — by phoning his dad in Alabama to tell him that he was gay.
Watch the video of that phone call call below:
Some rights groups and politicians took the opportunity to remind supporters their work was not yet done.
The National Center for Transgender Equality wrote about a Pentagon report that showed transgender people will still not be able to serve openly in the military.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) reminded supporters about the Defense of Marriage Act, writing on Twitter: “Now that DADT is behind us, it's time to go get DOMA, don't you think?” Because of DOMA, the Post’s Jonathan Capehart pointed out Tuesday, the surviving same-sex spouse of a service member won’t receive the same considerations as a surviving straight spouse.
But Post opinion writer Greg Sargent remained hopeful.
“At a difficult moment,” he wrote Tuesday, “it stands as a sorely needed reminder that progress remains possible. Let’s not forget it.”
More from the Washington Post on DADT:
Gallery: Marking the end of DADT
Checkpoint Washington: The history of DADT
Federal Eye blog: ‘Outserve’ Magazine tells stories of gay troops
Politics: U.S military prepares for end of DADT
The Plum Line: It’s official, don’t ask don’t tell is history
Gallery: Closing a chapter in history