Lane Hudson on Taking Clinton to Task

Activist Lane Hudson, attending the Netroots Nation convention, took on former president Bill Clinton about two pressing issues languishing in Washington: DOMA and DADT.

BY Michelle Garcia

August 14 2009 12:00 AM ET

Bill Clinton Heckled x390 (Grab) | Advocate.com

Did he sufficiently answer your question?I'm really satisfied with what he had to say, but I regret that it wasn't a two-way conversation because I wasn't trying to attack him, but these are our rights that he was talking about. We're trying to end discrimination. These are two laws that he signed that stripped the rights of a minority in this country. I'm passionate about it, and I wasn't trying to attack him, but I wanted to discuss this [with] the man who signed this into law.

The ideal answer would have been him saying, "I'm unequivocally ready to call for the repeal. That would have given us a little momentum, and a little progress. We've got that partially, so I would say it was worth standing up and forcing the issue.

Do you feel that the way you asked the question was too drastic?When you're in a large hall, and you're not very close, you have to speak very loudly in order for the person at the podium to hear. Just the volume alone carries certain perception of people around. That's just the realities of the space that you're in.

I know it's not what we're supposed to do. We're supposed to sit still and listen, but we're not going to change the status quo if we don't get uncomfortable sometimes.

President Clinton said he didn't have enough support from Congress against these laws. Do you feel that the current situation in Washington mirrors the past?It's not 1993 and 1996. There's certainly some pressure on elected officials to hold up to the promises they made to us when they ran for office. There's plenty of support. We've supported them with our money, with our votes, and it's time for them to deliver, but unless we ask for it, they're not going to.

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