Massachusetts Representative Barney
Frank has clarified a remark on the White House's commitment to
repeal “don't ask, don't tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops
from serving openly, this year.
Frank's comments appeared Monday on the
online edition of gay glossy The Advocate.
“Like many pro-repeal advocates,
Frank has consistently pinpointed the National Defense Authorization
Act as 'the only vehicle' for overturning the ban legislatively,”
the magazine reported in a story titled View From Washington:
Universal Stagnation written by Kerry Eleveld. “When I noted
that the White House has failed to designate the defense
authorization bill over a stand-alone bill as its preferred method
for repealing the policy, Frank responded, 'That's because they don't
want it done this year, not because they want it done separately.'”
Gay bloggers quickly jumped on Frank's
remarks. Influential blogger John Aravosis, who blogs at
AmericaBlog.com, said it “confirms what many of us already knew.”
“It's important to note that Barney
has a history of defending the White House on gay issues,” Aravosis
said on his blog. “For Barney to say publicly that the White
House doesn't want DADT repealed this year is a rather huge deal. It
means it's true.”
But within hours of publication, a
Frank spokesperson released a clarification.
“In a recent interview, I misspoke
and garbled my answer to a question posed by reporter Kerry Eleveld.
I was trying to cover too many issues at once and, in fact, I did not
mean to imply that the Administration has opposed moving forward with
the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'”
“However,” Frank added, “the
Administration has been ambiguous about it, and that ambiguity has
allowed some to interpret Secretary Gates' argument for a delay in
implementation as a delay in adopting the legislation.”
The sixty-nine-year-old lawmaker went
on to call on the Obama administration to make it clear that it
supports repeal of the law this year.