Rachel Maddow started her Tuesday show by celebrating something she called "brand new in America today": the ability of gay people to serve openly in the military.
The country's "don't ask don't tell" policy was officially repealed at midnight on Tuesday morning, and Maddow, who has been a fierce advocate for the law's demise, pulled out all the stops. She played footage of people cheering the demise of the policy around the world, and lingered on the video of a soldier calling his father and finally coming out to him. Maddow then turned to the White House, which loudly proclaimed victory on Tuesday by sending out a campaign video featuring gay service members.
"They're doing all they can to lock up the political capital that should accrue to them for having won this," Maddow noted. "Winning helps you win more."
But Maddow's main focus was on individuals. "Today was about coming out," she said, adding that tens of thousands of people can now "make their own decision about whether or not and how to say who they are. it can no longer be used against them." She then brought on two people she had interviewed previously on her show: Victor Ferenbach, who outed himself while speaking to her, and Joshua Seefried, who had previously spoken to Maddow only in silhouette and under a pseudonym. Ferenbach personally thanked Maddow.
"You allowed a lot of us to come on and tell our stories," he said.