Monday, March 19, 2007

Continuing the Conversation with Hillary

"The Conversation" has been a recent theme of the Hillary Clinton campaign, and despite my initial skepticism, it seems that she actually may be listening as well as talking. In response to the demoralizing comments of General Peter Pace last week that "homosexuality is immoral", Clinton was asked whether she agreed that homosexuality was immoral, and responded:
Well I'm going to leave that to others to conclude. I'm very proud of the gays and lesbians I know who perform work that is essential to our country, who want to serve their country and I want to make sure they can.
Which of course is the old political side-step. She was called on it by numerous bloggers and community leaders, and a couple days later, made this statement:
Well I've heard from a number of my friends and I've certainly clarified with them any misunderstanding that anyone had, because I disagree with General Pace completely. I do not think homosexuality is immoral. But the point I was trying to make is that this policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not working. I have been against it for many years because I think it does a grave injustice to patriotic Americans who want to serve their country. And so I have called for its repeal and I'd like to follow the lead of our allies like, Great Britain and Israel and let people who wish to serve their country be able to join and do so. And then let the uniform code of military justice determine if conduct is inappropriate or unbecoming. That's fine. That's what we do with everybody. But let's not be eliminating people because of who they are or who they love.
I was delighted to read this. These words are right and they are unequivocal, and I'm glad to see you owning them by putting them on your website in text and on YouTube in video. So, in the spirit of continuing The Conversation, I'd like to ask a follow-on question. You say you're opposed to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and you have called for its repeal. Me too. As an ordinary citizen, I do what I can, which is to talk it up in my blog, to support the outstanding advocacy of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and to write to my Congressman and Senators, urging them to take action by co-sponsoring the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (HR 1246). The bill to repeal DADT has been introduced in the House, and has 114 co-sponsors (including my Rep, thank you, Mr. Becerra!). Alas, it has yet to have a champion in the Senate. Say, Senator Clinton, aren't you on the Senate Armed Services Committee? Ahem. Your words are great, now let's see the action. What are you waiting for?

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