In a brief interview with the openly-gay former Army Lt. Dan Choi MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer gave her vocal support to his cause, hoping that the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ends soon.
Brewer has covered the issue quite one-sidedly in the past on behalf of the gay rights side. She has hosted many gay-rights advocates on her news hour and has barely covered the other side of the DADT issue. Examples: here, here, and here.
Brewer was covering the ruling of a federal judge in California that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is unconstitutional. The judge has not yet issued a final ruling, but plans to do so in two weeks. Brewer's lone guest in the segment was Choi, an outspoken advocate and poster boy for the military gay-rights movement, who was arrested this past spring for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of DADT.
The news anchor first asked the lieutenant how he felt about the ruling. Then she commented that the DADT policy bans, which include bans on intimate conduct between gays and speaking about loved ones, act as a "severe impediment to dealing effectively" for soldiers far from home.
At the end of the short interview, Brewer told Choi that she stands with him and thinks that "justice delayed is justice denied," hoping that the final ruling on the matter comes soon.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on September 10 at 12:47 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
CONTESSA BREWER: It has been a long time coming, but this may be the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A federal judge in California has ruled that the military's ban on openly-gay service members is unconstitutional. The judge says she will issue a final ruling, ending the policy for good, in about two weeks. Former Army Lt. Dan Choi, an outspoken opponent of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he's an Iraq War veteran, and in April he handcuffed himself to the gates of the White House in a protest of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Was arrested, spent a night in prison and was discharged from the military in July. Lt. Dan Choi joins me now. Good to see you, sir.
DAN CHOI: Good to see you, Contessa.
BREWER: What's your reaction to this judge's ruling?
CHOI: It's a victory today for the Constitution. The judge reiterated the Bill of Rights, and some of our most foundational principles of freedom, the freedom of expression, free speech. And when you have a policy as vicious as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," that abridges that free speech and says "You cannot say the truth to your commander or to your best friends. You cannot say three words, 'I am gay,'" or "You are not allowed to express your commitment to your lover or your partner by saying three words 'I love you'" – that's absolutely against not only the Constitution, but against America. It's against integrity, it's against our American values –
BREWER: She says it actually bars people from enjoying intimate conduct, and bars them from speaking about their loved ones while serving in uniform, and it bans them from including information in a personal communication that could reveal their homosexuality. If you're deployed, you're away from your support system, that's a severe impediment to dealing effectively, to operating effectively in our nation's armed forces. But she says she's not going to issue a final ruling for two more weeks. What should happen right now from our nation's leaders, not just this judge?
CHOI: Well you're absolutely right. For the soldiers not only that are in combat, but the ones that come back home and have to deal with so many issues of Post Traumatic Stress or depression or even suicide – which is skyrocketing in the military – I don't see how our leaders can stand by and do nothing.
But in this case, if the President and his Justice Department do nothing, do not appeal, do not lift a finger that will waste any energy, waste any statements, or waste any money defending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," than what we might see is an absolute victory not only for gay veterans, but for our whole military. We don't have to fire people for being honest anymore, and we can bolster and reiterate not only our Bill of Rights in our Constitution, but our American value of love.
BREWER: Dan, I appreciate it. I stand with you. And I do think that justice delayed is justice denied, and I hope to see this policy end soon.