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, 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 “For Barney to say publicly that the White House doesn't want DADT repealed this year is a rather huge deal.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.