Finally fulfilling a 2008 campaign promise, President Barack Obama signed a landmark law repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the armed services. However, the policy will not end overnight: service chiefs must complete implementation plans before lifting the old law, and they must prove that it won’t damage combat readiness, as critics believe it will. In any case, the signing ceremony was a breakthrough moment for the nation’s gay community, the military and for Obama. The president vowed during his 2008 campaign to repeal the law and faced pressure from liberals who complained he was not acting swiftly enough. “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder in order to serve the country that they love,” Obama said.