Congressional Democrats hoping to ignite a drive to reverse the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy held a hearing in the issue this week. The hearing by a House Armed Services Subcommittee was the first on the matter since 1993, when President Bill Clinton said gays could serve in uniform if they kept quiet about their sexual orientation. Bill Conway, deputy director of the advocacy group Fair Wisconsin , says it's time to talk about an end to the policy. "It's been around for too long," says Conway. "That wasn't Bill Clinton's most shining moment."
Conway points to recent polling of active duty personnel, indicating the majority no longer oppose serving alongside gays, and comments from former high ranking officers. "There are quotes out there from some former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They don't believe that it was good . . . and I think it's that kind of support that could very well lead to abandoning it." Conway, who served four years in the Navy, says the military has dropped barriers due to race and religion, and allowing women to serve, and he thinks most service members would be relieved if "don't ask, don't tell" were allowed to expire.