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OutServe Magazine | April 20, 2014

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A Historic Win

A Historic Win
Eddy Sweeney

By Eddy Sweeney

In a historic moment for the United States, President Barack Obama has been reelected as the 44th President, the first African American to win reelection in our nation’s history.  OutServe-SLDN newly installed Executive Director, Allyson Robinson, praised tonight’s decision:  “It’s clear from tonight’s results that Americans have no desire to turn the clock back on our drive to full equality.”

President Obama, who famously ended the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy” (DADT), signed the historic Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, came out in support of marriage equality, and extended hospital visitation rights to same-sex couples, has done more to increase equality for the LGBT community than any sitting president.  “The President knows that the repeal of DADT was not the end, but just the beginning,” writes Robinson, “Now is the time to step on the gas to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and ensure that all service members and their families are treated equally by our military.  “

Despite the gains made in recent years with regards to open service in the military, transgender men and women still face an uphill climb to serve openly and without fear of discharge.  Robinson echoes this reality in her statement, “And now is the time to say once and for all that any qualified American who wants to serve our country in uniform should not face discrimination or harassment because of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The race tonight culminates a seemingly two year campaign, where billions of dollars, twenty-plus debates, and a robust get-out-the-vote effort from both sides ended in President Obama’s victory.