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Hatch Backtracks on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Support

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, on Wednesday, Feb. 3 told MSNBC, “I believe there are very outstanding, patriotic gay people who serve in the military and they ought to be given credit for it. And they shouldn’t have to lie about being gay.”

“On the other hand, I think that a lot of people are concerned that if you do away with ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ that they’ll then come back and ask for special rights preferences and privileges that others don’t have,” he continued. “I don’t see that, either. I ust don’t believe in prejudice of any kind.”

Pressed if he would vote for the repeal, Hatch answered, “Well, I don’t know about that. I’d have to really look at it and I’d have to really see. And they recommend … Admiral Mullen said at least a year of study and then they’d come back with a recommendation.”

“I can see why people of both sides are upset,” he said. “I just want to do what’s right.”

Hatch said he was open to the idea of repeal.

Today, he said that doesn’t necessarily mean he supports ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

“It’s deeply regrettable that liberal groups are misconstruing my position on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ for activist purposes. I certainly do not support repealing this policy,” he released in a statement.

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