Hilary Clinton tells gay leaders she'll oppose 'don't ask, don't tell'
Anthony Cuesta | March 09, 2007
NEW YORK, NY — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told the nation's leading gay rights group in an unpublicized speech that she opposes the military’s ban on gays and lesbians instituted when her husband was in office.
According to the Associated Press, Sen. Clinton said it would be safer for the nation if openly gay soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen could wear the uniform.
"This policy doesn't just hurt gays and lesbians, it hurts all our troops and this to me is a matter of national security and we're going to fix it," Clinton said, reports the AP.
The Pentagon instituted the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which says gays may serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation private, while her husband Bill Clinton was president. In 1999, as she prepared to run for the Senate from New York, Clinton publicly opposed that policy.
The New York Post reports that on Friday, Clinton told the Human Rights Campaign her commitment to gay rights would continue.
"I want you to know that just as you always have an open door to my Senate office, you will always have an open door to the White House, and together we can continue this journey," the Post reports her saying.
In the speech, Clinton joked that she shares the same initials as the group, and pledged to maintain the same close working relationship that last year helped defeat the federal amendment which would have banned same-sex marriage.
She also criticized the Bush administration for making political appeals based on gay rights issues, vowing that her presidency would mark "the end of leadership that has politicized the most personal and intimate issues."
The Post reports that David Smith, a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and now a Human Rights Campaign vice president, said Clinton's speech was "very well received," but added the group won't be endorsing a presidential candidate "anytime soon." – Issued by Gay Link Content
New York poll shows voters support gay marriage