A federal appeals court issued an order to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy in the military today.  The 9th U.S. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said that the process of repealing the policy is well underway, and the preponderance of the armed forces are expected to have been trained by mid-summer on new procedures.

National gay and lesbian Republican grassroots organization Group Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said that the ruling removes all uncertainty -- American service members are no longer under threat of discharge as the repeal implementation process goes forward.   

He added, as a captain in the United States Army Reserve, I have observed the reactions of my colleagues to the Department of Defense's move toward open service, and can say with complete confidence that our military is ready, willing and able to take this step. Log Cabin Republicans are proud of our role in ending this unconstitutional and un-American policy once and for all.

This unprecedented shift was possibly enabled by the July 24, 2011 legalization of gay marriage in New York State.  Bill Cuomo signed the bill, enabling the Empire State to become the sixth and largest US state to legalize gay marriage. 

Gay marriage supporters said that this bill would become a catalyst for similar bills which will sweep the nation. Human Right Campaign President Joe Solmonese said, this victory sends a message that marriage equality across the country will be a reality very soon.

Founder and president of the national gay-rights advocacy group Freedom to Marry Evan Wolfson said, New York is at such a powerful stage. She added that it's a powerful opportunity that is going to ripple through the country and the world.

Gay rights groups said that the don't ask don't tell policy impedes on due process and First Amendment rights of military members.