Thomas Roberts spoke with Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, and Fenton Bailey, who produced the new documentary The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, about the film and the final repeal of the military gay ban this coming Tuesday.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP…
Roberts also gives Towleroad a kind on-screen credit at the beginning of the segment – thanks, Thomas (and thanks, Dave Evans for the clip).
In related news, TIME's Mark Thompson talks to Aaron Belkin of the Palm Center, who is publishing a book, How We Won, Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" about repeal and how we got there.
From the point of view of military readiness, this issue was always a molehill, and there was never going to be any threat to readiness from allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly. So why the big deal? From a cultural perspective, this issue has always represented a line in the sand for both the gay-rights as well as the traditional-values communities. Gay groups have understood that getting rid of the military ban would be an important steppingstone for other rights like marriage equality. For traditional values groups, equal treatment of gay and lesbian troops signals the erosion of what they see as the Judeo-Christian basis of American culture. Both sides made a big deal out of the issue because, from a cultural perspective, the stakes were high.