About two years ago President Obama did what might have been one of the singlemost bold things any president has done in recent history: he signed the landmark repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. It was supposed to be a policy that would reduce discrimination in the military and reduce discharges from the military because of a person's gay or lesbian sexual orientation. Instead, it created a witch hunt and discharges of gay and lesbian service people increased after DADT went into effect.
It's probably impossible to quantify exactly what effect President Obama's policy shift has had on those in the military, but join me below the fold for a clue about the power of the president's new policy of non-discrimination.
The Uniformed & Overseas Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows those serving in the military overseas to vote and the UOCAVA Absentee Ballots Warden's Tally for Maine's Question 1, the ballot question legalizing gay marriage passed by Maine voters on November 6, has been published online by Maine's Secretary of State. I found the votes to be staggeringly different from those cast by the rest of the state of Maine, and I think that some of the difference (if not most of it) can be directly attributed to President Obama's DADT repeal which has shifted the military's culture. Unofficially, the Question 1 tallies reported by the press show that Maine voters legalized same-sex marriage by a 53% to 47% margin. Not so for Maine's uniformed and overseas absentee voters. Officially, they approved Question 1 by a 76% to 24% margin (2,117 for, 674 against, and 100 absentee voters not casting a vote either way for Question 1).
To which I say: THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA