Part Two of The Current
To Serve With Pride (Documentary Repeat)
Gay soldiers in the U.S. military can die for their country or suffer grave wounds for their country, but until this fall, they couldn't come out for their country. And their superiors were prohibited from investigating sexual orientation without a compelling reason. The forced silence was known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It was the result of a compromise on the part of U.S. President Bill Clinton, who campaigned on allowing gay soldiers to serve openly. Don't Ask Don't Tell was awkward and always controversial.
This past September, the policy was officially repealed --- though its legacy has left scars. The Current's Gord Westmacott brought us the story of veterans, and what it was like for them to be gay in the U.S. military. His documentary is called To Serve With Pride. It first aired in September.
We heard from Tom Norton, a chief Warrant Officer who served as a medivac pilot in Vietnam. Tanya Domi is an Army Captain who commanded a Military Police company. And Anthony Loverde is a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Airforce. He's one of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of his discharge and requesting a reinstatement. Since we first aired this documentary in September, one of the other plaintiffs has been accepted back into the U.S. Navy. Anthony Loverde expects his case will be resolved shortly as well.
One of the best known U.S. veterans of the Iraq war is Eric Alva. He was gravely injured after stepping on a landmine and became something of a media celebrity. But his fight didn't end when he was taken to hospital. He eventually came out to help lead the battle against Don't Ask Don't Tell. We heard from him.
Other segments from today's show: