Monday, December 20, 2010

Fair is fair

If I ask people to put aside partisanship when the occasion calls for it, then I must do the same. So, a HUGE thank you to Senators Kirk and Liebermann.

The battle to finally end the stain of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) entered its final stages when yesterday the US Senate FINALLY voted to repeal DADT (as the US House had already done—twice). This is an important step on the road to full equality for GLBT Americans, but also a big step forward for a sane, rational and appropriate defence policy.

The Senate vote was nearly 2 to 1 in favour of repeal, with only the worst of the worst US Senators opposing it—the folks we wouldn’t miss if they were to suddenly disappear. But among those voting in favour of repeal was the new US Senator from Illinois, Republican Mark Kirk. I’ve not been kind to him in recent months, and I probably won’t be in the future, but he did the right thing on this vote and I both acknowledge that and thank him for voting correctly. We may be adversaries much of the time, but I can and do take my hat off to him for doing the right thing on this issue.

But with Senator Joseph Liebermann, it goes even farther. I’ve been scathing in my attitude toward him. On this issue, however, he not only did the right thing by voting correctly, he also mounted a herculean effort to marshal votes for repeal when all the pundits said the cause was lost. Senator Liebermann went beyond the extra mile, he flat out saved the day, and for that he has my thanks and my respect.

It is possible, possibly even likely, that I will again disagree with Senators Kirk and Liebermann when the new Congress convenes. But I will nevertheless honour them for their votes—and Senator Liebermann for his work—on behalf of this issue.

Sometimes, even adversaries can be allies. One day, perhaps we can even be friends.

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