I have been an officer in the US Air Force for the last 18 years. At every step in my service I have been repeatedly informed of my responsibility to prevent discrimination based on gender, race and religion.
The radical shift in Powell's stance on LGBT issues should not give him a carte blanche. As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell justified homophobia as a simple objection to a behavioral choice.
While this will not be an easy fight, it also won't likely be a return to the belabored hearings of the Clinton presidency which produced the Bizarro World Don't Ask, Don't Tell non-policy of not asking what nobody's saying.