Former Senator Sam Nunn Reverses: Allow Gays to Serve Openly

Senator Sam Nunn, who spearheaded opposition to lifting the ban on gays in the military in 1993, a campaign which led to the implementation of 'DADT', tells the AP that the measure should be repealed.

Back in June 2009, Nunn told Politico that  it was "probably time to take another look" at the ban, but this position goes further.

Nunn In an interview this week, Nunn told the Associated Press that the law known as "don't ask, don't tell" should be overturned as long as there is enough time to prepare the troops for the change. He said the Pentagon should be given at least a year before the repeal takes effect to ensure operations in Afghanistan aren't affected.

"Society has changed, and the military has changed," the former senator from Georgia said.


Nunn said in the interview that he was swayed by the chiefs' testimony that repeal could be done as long as the Pentagon had enough time to prepare.

"That's a huge change" since 1993, he said. "I think that makes a big difference in perceptions of fairness and legitimacy in the law."

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  1. Jerry says

    Thanks for nothing, Sam. I am getting a little tired of ex-politicians, both Republican and Democrat, coming out in favor of gay civil rights AFTER they’ve long retired from their careers, and AFTER they used their time in office to bash gays, as Nunn did, for demagogic political gain. What he really should do is apologize and admit that his previous public homophobia was for purely mercenary motives.

  2. Reluctantly Derrick from Philly says

    K IN VA, you are correct. It is a big deal. Now, ALL Democrats will vote for repeal now. You only need 2 or 3 Republicans for Closure, then an up or down vote.


    When Sam Nunn was in office representing a conservative state (Georgia)why in world would he vote for gay civil rights? Unfortunately, there is such a thing as a Conservative Democrat. There used to be a bunch of ’em. Hell, there used to be Liberal Republicans–but they exiled them from the party….ever heard of Lincoln Chafee?

  3. Doug says

    In 1993 there was a bumper sticker seen widely in the Atlanta area: “Who elected Sam Nunn President?” The problem wasn’t that he supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at the time; it was the way he went about it that bothered me.

  4. Houndentenor says

    I guess 17 years too late is better than nothing? We shouldn’t turn away people who want to do the right thing even if it took them decades to figure out what the right thing is.

  5. robert says

    I hear and read endless gobbledygook about the time it will take to “make preparations” and “institute adjustments” and “develop a strategy” for the lifting of DADT do be repealed? What is there to do? You start allowing G&L service people to serve openly and then…what?

    This seems to be another stall tactic from those who think of Gay people as some sort of alien species.

  6. says

    He didn’t just “support” it. He was its main architect within the Congress, taking the concept that his buddy, homophobic socialogist Charles Moskos had first outlined the year before, and ramming it down Clinton’s throat while Colin Powell and the other Joint Chiefs held him down. IT was HIS bill that introduced it into the Senate, then merely mirrored by a bill introduced in the House by Ike Skeletor.

    There is NO question in my mind that the ban would have been lifted rather than converted into DADT had Nunn backed Clinton then. But, 1., he was a proven homophobe, having fired two gay attorneys who advised the Senate Armed Services Committee of which he was chair. [He’d inherited that seat from Barry Goldwater but wouldn’t even let Goldwater testify when he found out Goldwater supported ending the ban. At one hearing he scheduled 15 witnesses AGAINST ending the ban and only 2 for.] 2. He was ragingly jealous that Clinton had successfully run for President, something he’d fantasized about; and, then, passed over Nunn for Secretary of Defense.

    Here’s video of his tactics in ’93:

    Sam Nunn was and still IS a pig, and deserves none of our appreciation now. Some crimes are too great to ever be forgiven or overlooked.

  7. Paul R says

    Nunn has basically switched parties since he was in office. Back then he was in lock step with the GOP, serving Georgia. But now I get tons of emails from him about destroying our nuclear stockpiles and other “liberal” agendas.

    Maybe he’s developed a conscience? Or is just happy to be out of politics and express his real views?

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