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Sunday, 19 December 2010

US President Barack Obama must be quietly pleased today. He said in a statement reported by the Guardian:
"By ending 'don't ask, don't tell' no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love."
Another election promise down, on top of the mammoth, marathon contest the health care reforms turned out to be. Despite losing control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term election. Despite a fiercely partisan right wing in the US that is incredibly quick to attack Obama's government because they fear its intrusion into their lives.

But what is government? "When you change the government, you change the country," said former Australian prime minister Paul Keating. If that's true then the patriots seeking smaller government, less taxes, and more focus on individual rights as opposed to progressivism are merely annoyed by the path that's being taken. It's not smaller government they're challenged by, it's the liberal cast it's taking on as the months slide by and the 2012 election approaches.

Those who support equality of opportunity for all people despite race, religion, sexual orientation and any other point of distinction that we conventionally raise in describing people should be pleased with the way the US Senate has voted today. It's an admission that sexual orientation is not chosen but genetically conditioned. It's a major setback for the conservative elements in the US. And it will be hotly debated in that country in succeeding weeks.

All the way up to the next election, two years away.

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