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Senator Lieberman Answers ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

For Jewish reasons. In a Jewish way

Dan Klein
December 20, 2010
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Senator Joe Lieberman is getting heaps of praise for spearheading repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. The former VP nominee apparently worked endlessly to whip the final votes for cloture. Howard Kurtzman asked him simply, “Why?”

When I asked Lieberman why he felt so strongly about the issue—he co-sponsored a gay rights bill as a Connecticut legislator in the 1970s—he went on for a bit quoting the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. But then he turned more personal:

“I’m a Jewish-American,” he said, “a member of a minority group raised from the earliest part of my life to be deeply grateful for all the rights and opportunities and freedom afforded Americans.”

(Emphasis mine)

Lieberman felt so strongly that although the vote took place on Shabbat, which he observes, he walked to the Senate from his home, “convinced he was serving his constituents on a national security issue. ‘It felt okay to be here,’ he said.”