Democracy Now - “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Ban on Gay and Lesbians in the U.S. Military is Lifted

Air Date: 
September 20, 2011

"Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" is no more. The military’s longstanding ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers officially expired at 12:01 a.m. EDT earlier today. Congress passed a repeal of the ban last year, but President Obama had deferred its implementation until military leaders gave their approval. The Pentagon now says it will no longer enforce the ban, meaning gays and lesbians can openly serve. We play excerpts from voices we have had on the program over the years speaking out against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” including Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran who was eventually discharged under the ban. We also speak with Aaron Belkin, author of "How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." The big difference on the ground,” says Belkin of the victory’s impact for military personnel, “is that they can utter the words, ‘I am gay.’”

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