09/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dem Rep: "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Will Be Repealed Shortly

The point man in Congress on overturning a law banning openly gay people from serving in the military predicted on Friday that the repeal would come shortly.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Rep. Patrick Murphy, (D-Pa.), said he was confident that a repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" would pass through Congress and make it the president's desk in months.

"This policy is going to be repealed in a short matter of time," Murphy said. As for service members who are being discharged because of their sexuality, Murphy said "If they can hold on, help is on the way. And help is going to come form the Congress and be signed into law by the president."

Murphy has 168 co-sponsors for legislation that would repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell", as well as several commitments from party leadership that the bill will come to a vote.

He said that the considerable anger directed at President Obama for failing to address the subject sooner was understandable but ultimately misplaced.

"President Obama has clearly said he wants to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell," Murphy said. "He has instructed as Commander in Chief his Secretary of Defense and chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff to be prepare to implement the policy but he has respect for the legislative branch, a co-equal branch, and said, 'Guys, I want a bill on my desk. And when it comes on my desk I'm going to sign it to repeal this.'"

Instituted during the Clinton administration as a sweep-under-the-rug compromise to having gays openly serve in the military, DADT has become an increasingly infuriating subject for gay activists as well as many in Congress and even some in the military establishment. For Clinton, too, it is a sore matter and a part of his legacy that he is particularly sensitive discussing.

During his address to the Netroots Nation conference on Thursday night, the former president was interrupted by gay activist and HuffPo blogger Lane Hudson, who asked for Clinton to call for a repeal of DADT. The 42nd president responded with a lengthy and emotional rebuttal in which he described his intentions as noble but ultimately undermined by Congress and unfriendly media.

"You want to talk about 'Don't Ask Don't Tell', I'll tell you exactly what happened," Clinton said. "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 me some support in the Congress. Now that's the truth."

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