Harry Reid’s renewed DADT interest

HARRY REID’S RENEWED DADT INTEREST…. About a month ago, a reporter asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) about whether he’d like to see progress in his chamber on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Reid didn’t seem especially interested in the issue, responding, “I haven’t identified any sponsors…. My hope is that [repeal] can be done administratively.”

Yesterday, Reid took a more encouraging line on the issue.

“We’re having trouble getting people into the military,” Mr. Reid told reporters when questioned about whether he could support an 18-month moratorium on enforcing a prohibition on gays in the armed forces. “And I think that we shouldn’t turn down anybody that’s willing to fight for our country, certainly based on sexual orientation.”

Mr. Reid said he would go the proposal, being considered by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, one better and support a permanent repeal of the ban.

Ms. Gillibrand, eager to court support from the large New York gay community and improve her standing with liberals prior to her election bid next year, is reportedly considering trying to add a moratorium to the Pentagon policy measure now being considered in the Senate.

The more Reid takes this seriously, the better the chances we’ll see some long overdue legislative progress on the issue.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.