"Another blow to DADT," declares the headline on the Rachel Maddow segment about Witt's reinstatement (video after break). And despite the recent setback in the Senate, the decision Friday by U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton is indeed a milestone in the fight to let gay men and lesbians serve openly in the armed services.
This marks the second time Leighton has presided over the case. He ruled against Witt in 2006, but an appeals court overruled him two years later, telling him to reexamine whether Witt's sexual orientation really did impact her squadron's military readiness. According to press accounts, he was visibly moved on Friday when announcing his new decision, his voice breaking as he called her a "central figure in a long-term, highly charged civil rights movement."