Las Vegas — This morning at Netroots Nation, (former) Lt. Dan Choi confronted Sen. Harry Reid to tell the Senate leader that he will hold him personally accountable for an unfulfilled promise to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Choi gave Reid his West Point ring, but Reid said he couldn’t accept something he hadn’t earned.
Choi, discharged this week under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, hopped onto the stage during Reid’s Netroots Nation speech and gave Reid his discharge paperwork. The two agreed that Reid would hang onto the ring until the repeal is passed and the new law of the land. Choi also gave Reid letters containing the original promise the Clinton-era policy would be repealed in 2009.The repeal passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Lawmakers hope to attach it to the Defense Authorization measure likely to be debated this fall, but in an election year where control of Congress is at stake, it’s unclear if the measure will make it.
Watch what happened today at Reid’s speech:
Sources at the convention told TPM that Reid aides weren’t happy about Choi’s interruption and felt it was unfair to confront him on stage since they were on the same side of the issue.
TPM caught up with Choi shortly after the stunt during Reid’s panel.
“It’s not about me,” Choi said. He said that Reid (D-NV) had presented him with a choice on the stage today. Choi said Reid asked, “What do you want, ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act) or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? … In my mind I’m thinking discrimination is discrimination.”
Watch TPM’s exclusive video with Choi: