Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ask Not: Film Debut Today

The Career Services Office and many other administrative offices and student organizations are sponsoring today's Long Island debut of the nationally acclaimed film ASK NOT, at 12:30 and at 5:30, in the Auditorium. The public is invited to the 5:30 showing.

ASK NOT is a rare and compelling documentary film that explores the effects of the federal “don’t ask, don’t tell” law on gay and lesbian soldiers and service members. The film exposes the tangled political battles that led to the discriminatory law and examines the societal shifts that have occurred since its passage in 1993. Current and veteran gay soldiers reveal how “don’t ask, don’t tell” affects them during their tours of duty, as they struggle to maintain a double life, uncertain of whom they can trust. The film also explores how gay veterans and youth organizers are turning to forms of personal activism to overturn the policy. The film showcases a national speaking tour of conservative universities to protests at military recruitment offices, these public events question how the U.S. military can claim to represent democracy and freedom while denying one segment of the population the right to serve.

In addition, we are pleased to have Dr. Nathaniel Frank attend the 5:30 screening, and he will take questions about the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law after the screening. Dr. Frank is Senior Research Fellow at the Palm Center (affiliated with the University of California) and an adjunct professor at New York University. He first broke the story of the Army's firing of Arabic-language specialists under the ‘don't ask don't tell’ policy. He has been interviewed for national television and radio programs to discuss the topic of marriage and military service rights for gays and lesbians. Dr. Frank's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, Lingua Franca, and other publications. Dr. Frank received his Ph.D. in History from Brown University in the spring of 2002. Before that he earned his Masters also from Brown and his Bachelors from Northwestern University in History and American Culture. His book on the U.S. military's gay ban, Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, will be published in 2009 by St. Martin's Press.

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