Allyson Robinson: Can Chuck Hagel make LGBT equality a reality in the military?
For those of us still idealistic enough to take joy in the patriotic pageantry of inaugurals, last week’s ceremony provided plenty to get us through the next four years. As West Point graduates and veterans, my wife and I definitely fall into that category, but there was one moment during the inauguration that took our breath away. When President Obama placed the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans who fought back against police raids at Stonewall in 1969 alongside those who marched for their rights at Selma and organized for equality at Seneca Falls, my wife Danyelle, our four children, and I stood a little straighter, clenched hands with one another, and were soon blinking back tears. The president’s clear and passionate declaration of the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans made history, just as he did when announced support for marriage equality, and just as he did when he led the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”