PLEDGE NOW
Voices of Honor
Flags planted on the Mall for "12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots” protest in 2007. At the time, The Human Rights Campaign, which organized the protest, said that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy had been responsible for the discharge of at least 12,000 military personnel.  (Flickr/M.V. Jantzen; Click for full image)

Flags planted on the Mall for "12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots” protest in 2007. At the time, The Human Rights Campaign, which organized the protest, said that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy had been responsible for the discharge of at least 12,000 military personnel. (Flickr/M.V. Jantzen; Click for full image)

Twenty of the 26 NATO nations allow open military service by gays and lesbians: Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Israel. The United States does not.

Since 1993, U.S. policy on gays in the military has been “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Thirteen thousand servicemen and women have been discharged under that policy. Candidate Barack Obama promised to change it.

So far, it’s unchanged. A new national campaign aims to raise the heat for change. Opponents of open gay service are digging in.

This hour, On Point: gays in the U.S. military, and the fight now over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Laura Meckler is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal

Eric Alva is an ex-marine and a volunteer with the Voices of Honor campaign which will be traveling around the country to put pressure on Washington to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He joined the marines in 1990, at age 19, and served in Somalia and was stationed in Japan and California for 10 years. In March 2003, Alva’s unit was among the first to cross Kuwait’s border into Iraq for the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Three hours into the ground war, he stepped out of his vehicle and triggered a landmine. His right leg was so badly damaged that it needed to be amputated. He became the first American wounded in the war and the war’s first Purple Heart recipient. Alva retired as a staff sergeant in June 2004.

Julie Sohn is an Iraq war veteran and former Marine Corps Captain. She has been station in Japan, Parris Island, South Carolina, and Falluja, Iraq. She was active duty from 1999 to 2003, and in the reserves from 2003 until 2008, when she was discharged for speaking publically for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She now works for the Los Angeles Police Department in its Use of Force Division.

Patrick Murphy has represented Pennsylvania’s Eighth District, in the Eastern part of the state, since 2007. He was the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress. He served in Baghdad from 2003-2004 as a Captain in the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, and was later awarded the Bronze Star for Service. He is trying to gain enough votes in the House now to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and is working closely with the Voices of Honor campaign.

Dustin Siggins joined the Federal Reserves in 2004, the New Hampshire Army National Reserves in 2006 and the Washington Army National Reserves in January 2009. He graduated from Plymouth State University in 2008. He is 23 years old and blogged about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, calling it a compromise that worked.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 1, 2015
A protestor faces police enforcing a curfew Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. A line of police behind riot shields hurled smoke grenades and fired pepper balls at dozens of protesters to enforce a citywide curfew. (AP)

Protests, big questions in Baltimore. Gay Marriage at the Supreme Court. Bernie Sanders runs for President. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 1, 2015
In this photo provided by World Vision, a house stands destroyed by Saturday’s earthquake at Paslang village in Gorkha municipality, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015.  (AP)

Nepal and Kathmandu after the devastating earthquake. We’ll look at the geology, geo-politics, rescue and the hard way ahead.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 1, 2015
In this photo provided by World Vision, a house stands destroyed by Saturday’s earthquake at Paslang village in Gorkha municipality, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015.  (AP)

Nepal and Kathmandu after the devastating earthquake. We’ll look at the geology, geo-politics, rescue and the hard way ahead.

 
May 1, 2015
A protestor faces police enforcing a curfew Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. A line of police behind riot shields hurled smoke grenades and fired pepper balls at dozens of protesters to enforce a citywide curfew. (AP)

Protests, big questions in Baltimore. Gay Marriage at the Supreme Court. Bernie Sanders runs for President. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: May 01, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015

What happens when we change show topics last minute, and also what happens when a New York Times headline seems to accuse Kristie Alley of being responsible for the infamous George Washington Bridge lane closures.

More »
3 Comments
 
How To Help The Survivors Of Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake
Friday, May 1, 2015

Where and how to contribute aid to the relief effort in Nepal.

More »
4 Comments
 
Your Favorite Musical Memories Of Rain
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

When we say ‘rain,’ you say ‘…?’ (Here’s what you really said when we said ‘rain.’)

More »
6 Comments