The Santa Barbara Independent recently spoke with Professor Aaron Belkin, director of UCSB' Palm Center, a think tank devoted to researching sexual minorities and the military. Belkin is featured in ASK NOT, a documentary about the military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy, which premieres on PBS on June 16.
Belkin told the paper "I would never encourage anyone to break the law, although coming out of the closet in the military isn’t breaking the law, it’s just announcing that you’re willing to be discharged. On the one hand, we have polling data that shows that many people in the military already know a gay person in their unit and the majority of those people don’t have any problem with it. On the one hand, Dan Choi and Darren Manzella are doing what tens of thousands of gays and lesbians are already doing, and straight people are more than professional enough to handle that. On the other hand, it does personify the issue in quite a striking way when an Arabic linguist with Iraq combat experience like Dan Choi says, 'I want to serve. I don’t want to be fired, but I shouldn’t have to live a lie, and it hurts the mission when the government makes me live a lie.'"
The paper's preview of the film is HERE. You can view clips from it HERE.
Stay tuned folks! More and more people are getting involved and speaking out! Hang in there!