Artur Davis, the outgoing Alabama congressperson who was the only Black to vote against the Health Care bill, was the only Black to vote against the historic repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (Despite his effort to appeal to conservatives, Davis lost his bid to become Alabama’s first Black senator.) The 250 to 175 House vote to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was followed by the Senate vote of 65 to 31 to repeal the law that outlawed openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the US military.
"For too long, gay and lesbian service members have been forced to conceal their sexual orientation in order to dutifully serve their country," Senator Roland Burris said in a statement. "With this bill, we will end this discriminatory policy that grossly undermines the strength of our fighting men and women at home and abroad." (When the new year rise, Burris will leave office and there will be no Blacks in the Senate.)
As promised, the nation’s first Black president sign the bill into law Wednesday. The President wrote, “As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness.”
- President Harry S. Truman via Executive Order 9981 ordered the historic racial integration of U.S. Armed Forces in July 1948