President Obama signed into law a repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Wednesday, fulfilling a campaign promise and marking a historic step forward for gay rights.

The law “will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals our fighting men and women defend,” Obama told a cheering crowd of gay and lesbian service members and their supporters in Washington. “No longer will thousands of men and women in uniform be asked to live a lie or look over their shoulder while serving the country they love.”

“Our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. None of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well,” he said. “This is the right thing to do for our military, and I believe it is the right thing to do period.”

The President did what he said he was going to do. He get’s the credit. It happened on his watch.

There is still so much to do — especially repealing the despicable Defense of Marriage Act and passing ENDA. It will be more difficult with Republicans in control of the House. But, Obama has signed a hate crimes law and abolished DADT. Say what you will about the exasperating process and the near death experience of this bill. When all is said and done, progress was made. Obama’s “It Gets Better” video was a nice gesture, as well. This was a terrific victory for the gay and lesbian community, the President, the Pelosi and Reid Congress and most of all for the brave gay service members who deserve to serve without hiding who they are.

Of a sign of what’s to come in the next Congress, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried an underhanded and desperate last minute hoodwink to thwart the DADT repeal. According to Politico:

A last-ditch effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to complicate the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was blocked Tuesday night after Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) objected, Senate aides said.

McConnell attempted to add an amendment to the so-called stripped-down defense authorization bill that would have required the consent of the military service chiefs to proceed with “don’t ask” repeal. Under legislation passed by the Senate last week, certifications are required from the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. All the incumbents in those positions support repeal.

Get used to such wing-nuttery. Other than a select few members of the GOP, the Party has been taken over by extremists who grovel to anti-gay special interests at the expense of America. McConnell’s ignoble action was a disgrace and an affront to the brave gay and lesbian soldiers who fight to keep this country safe.