BREAKING: Colin Powell now favors repeal of DADT

Holy crap. This is huge.

Gen. Colin L. Powell, who as the nation’s top military officer in the 1990s opposed allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, switched gears today and threw his support behind efforts to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law he helped shepherd in.

“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” General Powell said in a statement issued by his office. He added: “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”

And for anyone who wants to quibble about what “support the new approach means,” the new approach that Gates and Mullen clearly presented was supporting repeal of DADT and conducting a study to determine how best to implement the repeal. That’s the approach, that’s what Powell endorsed.

As an aside, it is irrelevant how any of you feel about this guy. He was the man who made DADT happen. For him to now support Gates and Mullen in their desire to repeal the policy is freaking enormous.

Democrats have to take advantage of this now. We cannot afford to wait a year for this study. This is about momentum, now. We have it. A year of religious right and GOP whittling away at us will doom this effort. Today, we can win. So what’s the plan?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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