Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made herself something of a national figure by pushing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and this afternoon, her office was about 20 minutes ahead of the White House with a statement cheering the official presidential certification that will end the policy.
Around 4 p.m. today, President Obama officially certified that the military is prepared to transition away from the policy, which begins a 60-day countdown that marks the final stages of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The policy is now set to end on September 20.
On Friday evening, as the drama over same-sex marriage was reaching a crescendo in Albany, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was stuck on an Acela train headed to Washington, D.C.
“I couldn’t watch any of it because there was no television,” she told The Observer in a phone call on Monday afternoon.
In the weeks leading up to Friday’s vote, Gillibrand had reached out to each of the state Senators who were publicly undecided, and, in the final week, had spoken again to Republican Senators Stephen Saland and Roy McDonald.
Chelsea Clinton joined advocates this evening in Manhattan to mark the first week of a phonebank campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, and said she hopes that New York will pass a same-sex marriage bill by her anniversary this July.
“As someone who got married last year, it was certainly the happiest day of my life to be able to marry my best friend,” she said of her 2010 wedding to husband Marc Mezvinsky. “I fundamentally believe that every New Yorker, every American, and everyone should have the same right.”