Nevada Senator Harry Reid promised Army
Lt. Dan Choi that he'll repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993
law that forbids gay troops from serving openly.
Speaking Saturday at Netroots Nation,
the nation's largest gathering of liberal bloggers, Reid promised
Choi the policy would be repealed.
Choi is the
gay rights activist honorably discharged from the military for
announcing more than a year ago on MSNBC's The
Rachel Maddow Show
that he's gay. In a tweet sent out to his thousands of followers
on Thursday, Choi, an outspoken critic of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,”
announced that he had been discharged from the military for violating
Before a question and answer session,
the discussion moderator handed Reid Choi's West Point ring as a gift
and along with his discharge paperwork.
Reid said he could not accept the ring
because Choi had “earned his ring.”
Choi jumped onto the stage to give Reid
a hug as the audience urged the majority leader to keep the ring
until the law is repealed.
Reid gave in, saying: “When the
bill's signed, I'll keep it safely and then give it back to him.”
The audience cheered and gave Reid a
The exchange comes just days after gay
rights activists – including Choi – had protested against Reid in
Las Vegas for inaction on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA), a stalled federal bill that seeks to outlaw workplace
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.