Former US President Bill Clinton has said that the current ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) ban on gays in the US military, which was enacted during his term in office, came about because of a lack of gay support in Congress.
Clinton made the statement after he was interrupted during a speech at a Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh, by activist and blogger Lane Hudson, who asked if he would call for the repeal, right then, of DADT.
Clinton responded by saying that gays and lesbians didn’t deliver the Congressional support his administration needed to allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the US military. The compromise as first proposed, he said, would have allowed gays and lesbians to attend Pride Parades and political events and visit gay bars without consequence.
“You couldn’t deliver me any support in the Congress and they voted by a veto-proof majority in both houses against my attempt to let gays serve in the military and the media supported them. They raised all kinds of devilment. And all most of you did was to attack me instead of getting some support in the congress. Now, that’s the truth,” Clinton said.
“I hated what happened,” he said about DADT. “This policy should be changed.”
DADT refers to the US military’s practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation and in turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.