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Steve Clemons

Steve Clemons

Posted: June 5, 2008 10:02 AM

Asking and Telling Sam Nunn

sam nunn.jpg

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a compromise forced on Bill Clinton's presidency by a recalcitrant, (then) anti-gay Sam Nunn who stopped Clinton's plans to end discrimination against homosexual men and women serving in the U.S. military.

In fact, while Senator Nunn was still in the Senate, he fired two staff members when it came to light that these individuals were gay.

Now, Senator Nunn is recommending a "review" of the policy he helped fashion fifteen years ago, but he is not indicating whether his own views have changed.

I'm a fan of Sam Nunn's important work in trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons and other WMD related materials. I hear from many friends that he is an outstanding Board Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and also Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

So despite my sincere respect for many of the good things Sam Nunn has done, I also think it is important for those whispering about the possibility of putting Nunn in the VP slot on the Obama ticket -- or in Obama's cabinet -- to realize that this blog and many others will not stand for someone who still harbors long standing, institutionalized discriminatory views against gay men and women, particularly in the arena of national security when we should be applauding any who want to serve this country.

It's time for us to be asking Sam Nunn what his views on gays in the military now are -- and he should tell us.

Let's move to "Ask and Tell."

-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note