President Obama said he will sign the bill Wednesday, thus fulfilling his 2008 political pledge. There will be two more steps before gays and lesbians can openly serve in the armed forces: certification by the military that repeal will not affect the services' fighting ability, followed by a 60-day waiting period.
Some suggest that the combat arms will find the change disruptive and that it will negatively affect unit cohesion. Indeed, that is quite likely to be the case.
In the 17 years DADT was in effect, more than 13,500 members of the military were dismissed for being gay or lesbian, which some argue was a waste of their skills and a waste of the money invested in their training. Many have told the media that they plan to re-enlist when the ban is finally lifted.
Over time, the ban on openly gay service members became, in part, a generational thing. Younger members of the armed services don't see having gay colleagues as a big deal as members of older generations.
Increasingly their leaders, like Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mike Mullen, agreed with them. A critical turning point came last February when Mullen said at a Senate hearing, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
But keep in mind that Gates, Mullen and the other service leaders are dependent for their jobs, directly or otherwise, in keeping in the good graces of the president - who has made clear his determination to do away with "Don't Ask ..."
And while many liberal congressmen - who frankly, have little use for the military or those who serve, and who in most cases never served themselves - are casting the junking of DADT as a victory for civil rights, their argument mostly points out how determined they are to use the military as a laboratory for social experimentation. So what if we're in the middle of fighting two wars?
In the aftermath of repeal, it will be instructive to see if those universities that used opposition to DADT as a rationale for barring or obstructing military recruiters from their campuses will now welcome them. But don't hold your breath on that.
Rather than junking a policy that has served its purpose by allowing gays to serve, but also by making military cohesiveness the paramount consideration, the country would be better served by keeping that policy in place.