2. DO ASK, DO TELL
As a candidate, Barack Obama promised LGBT advocates that he would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Clinton-era policy subjecting gay and lesbian soldiers to formal investigation, military prosecution, dishonorable discharge and loss of benefits. For the first two years of his presidency, activists needled Obama for what they considered slow progress towards their mutual goal. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and other veterans groups lobbied Congress relentlessly, slowly turning the tide toward change. In December, Obama finally became the “fierce advocate of gay rights” he pledged to be as a candidate and signed legislation phasing out DADT. And not a moment too soon.