I can't think of a better Christmas present - today after 17 horrible years of witch-hunts, lies and ruined lives - Don't Ask, Don't Tell has officially ended with a signature by President Obama.
A crowd of LGBT activists looked on, and I snagged a few of their shots from Facebook to share with you.
It was one of Obama's campaign promises to repeal the ban of gays in the military, and activists had been criticizing him for dragging his feet.
With the GOP taking over Congress come January, the clock was ticking. It was denied, until the House put a separate bill together. Then Obama backed the tax cuts, and suddenly the DADT repeal flew through the House and the Senate.
(pictured above, activist Robin McGehee with her son to the left, and Davix Mixner to the right. Also in background - Dustin Lance Black, Oscar winning screenwriter of Milk)
With the signature, we still have to wait for the joint chiefs to figure out how to implement, and then wait for 60 days.
Log Cabin Republican ED R Clarke Cooper - an Army man - salutes the president after the signing
Several of the activists that tied themselves to the White House fence several times this year in protest were there to witness the signing, including PTA mom-turned-activist Robin McGehee and discharged West Point Grad Dan Choi. The latter had to be involuntarily hospitalized just two weeks ago by the VA after having a break down he attributed to both the the duplicity of allies in congress and the criticism from LGBT activists for his tactics. Today, Harry Reid gave Choi back his West Point ring. (see photo to left, care of National Equality March)
Last night there was a last ditch effort by the Republicans to block the repeal in the Senate by tacking on verbiage in a defense authorization bill, which fortunately failed.
The U.S. now joins countries including Israel, Canada and Great Britain who also allow gays to openly serve. Senator McCain called it "A very sad day", but you know, he can kiss our asses.