"The persistence of the military exclusion continued to send a powerful message that gay people were not full members of the nation — not least because, historically, military service has been an important sign and condition of full citizenship.
Ending 'don’t ask, don’t tell' not only honors the thousands of lesbians and gay men now in the service, it honors the memory of the veterans who insisted, 65 years ago, that they deserved to share in the freedom they had waged a war to defend."
Read the whole thing here.
Chauncey, incidentally, has also been a major contributor to several of the gay marriage legal battles, most recently testifying in the federal Prop 8 trial in California last January. He has frequently used his knowledge of queer history to advance today's political struggles - a real mensch, and a great example of the power of history to make change in today's world.