Judge Criticizes Clinton on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Retiring Judge William A. Norris urged President Clinton to “admit his mistake of judgement” regarding the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays. “Renounce it because it is wrong, it is evil — as you surely know in your heart,” he said at a ceremony where he received a “Liberty Award” from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. In a 1988 case, Norris said the military’s policy violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

“I can think of no other instances in which the government passed a law whose very purpose is to force people to live a lie, to pretend that their true selves don’t really exist.” Norris accused Clinton of hypocrisy, given that he recently commemorated the 40th anniversary of desegregation in Little Rock public schools, yet upholds a policy of bigotry against gays and lesbians.


Los Angeles Times - October 16, 1997

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