Lieberman to Lead 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Fight
Says he sees it as extension of civil rights movement
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2010 11:55 AM CST
Joe Lieberman gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Feb. 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

(Newser) – Joe Lieberman will be lead sponsor on legislation to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy next week, he revealed in an interview today. “I see this as an extension, the next step of the civil rights movement,” he told James Kirchick of the New York Daily News. The Senate moderate has driven Democrats crazy lately, but President Obama and gay rights groups recruited him as standard-bearer on this issue specifically for his crossover appeal, Kirchick reports.

Lieberman says he’s passionate about the effort, and promises to “work as hard as I have on anything that’s been important to me as a senator.” He thinks the policy both violates the rights of gay Americans, and diminishes military effectiveness by turning away recruits. But though polling shows the public’s behind the effort, Lieberman’s in for a fight—buddy John McCain is among those against lifting the ban.