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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Marks New Era

Tomorrow, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory nearly two-decade old policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, will officially be repealed tomorrow. Watch this video for my take on this historic day. Then, read the blog entry by Huong Nguyen, who last year chronicled her personal story about […]

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Finale: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: In the Olden Days

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist At the beginning of this school year, Rowan, my 6-year-old son, held court in his first-grade class about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The unprompted conversation with his classmates went something like this: Rowan: My mom was in the military. Classmates: Really? Rowan: Yeah, but she was kicked […]

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NCLR Legal Analysis: President Obama Defends Justice by Rejecting DOMA

Today brings momentous news from President Barack Obama and the federal Department of Justice about the discriminatory and offensive so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” or DOMA. This morning, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, at the urging of the President, as well as based upon Mr. Holder’s own assessment, the Department of Justice will no […]

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My Movie Night with President Barack Obama: Thurgood Marshall’s Legacy and LGBTQ Equality

Sitting in the White House last night for a truly “once in a lifetime moment”—a movie screening of “Thurgood” with President Barack Obama—I was moved by how far justice and equality has really come in our nation, and how much further we have to go to finish the promise of “equality and justice for all.” […]

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Part Nine: The Story

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Whoa! That’s my life, not news. Don’t print it. But the school newspaper reporter argues: “We’re going to, with or without your consent. Your story is important to the debate about ROTC’s presence on campus in view of the school’s nondiscrimination policy.” Okay, I’ll give you the story, […]

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Part Eight: The Trial

By Huong Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 1995 I’m at my Army Reserve unit, in a windowless, closet-sized conference room. The walls are painted mustard yellow. The florescent lights, unnaturally bright. A small, government-issued table, with four chairs, sits in the middle of the room. I’m in a chair facing the door. I don’t want […]

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Part Four: The Education of Private Nguyen

By Huong Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 1994 “Gaydar? What’s that?” They smile knowingly, my dormitory co-workers. “The camos and boots are part of my job. Look, I have long curly hair. I wear makeup, dresses, high heels. And, I’m engaged to marry a dude.” Now giggling, they claim gaydar is more than that—it detects […]

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Part One: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 1992 They’re taking forever to arrive—acceptance or rejection letters from colleges. Small envelopes = bad. Big = good. Or at least that’s what I’m told, because none of my family members have made it that far in their schooling yet. Mom and dad only finished high school, […]

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