Lieberman backs 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama's call to nix the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning openly gay people from military service.

Lieberman, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, said that the policy is unfair toward gays and lesbians who want to serve.

ADVERTISEMENT
Asked if he favors ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he replied, "I do.

"As a matter of fact I voted against it when it first came in," he said on Fox Business Network, "It just seems to me you ought to judge a member of our military by how they perform in the military and not by their sexual orientation."

Obama in his State of the Union address Wednesday night said he would work with Congress and military leaders to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said.

One of Lieberman's close allies in the Senate, Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) said "it would be a mistake" to get rid of the policy because it is "successful" and it comes at the wrong time while the country is fighting two wars.

It is unclear which vote on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Lieberman said he voted against. The policy was brought before Congress several times, but was eventually established via executive order by President Bill Clinton in 1993.