added a comment - - edited
Andrew, the tools.reader library provides this enhancement today, if you would prefer using unpatched software, and if it meets your needs. There are a few other small differences between it and the reader built into Clojure, which you can see near the end of its README: https://github.com/clojure/tools.reader
As far as why it hasn't been addressed yet, I think a short accurate answer is that the Clojure developers have been working on other issues, and this one has not been high enough priority to be addressed yet (disclaimer: This is in no way an official answer, just the best guess of an observer who watches this stuff too much).
I see you have voted on the ticket. Good. More votes can in some cases influence the Clojure developers to respond to a ticket earlier rather than later. You may try to persuade others to vote on it, too, if you wish.
If there is some production use of Clojure hindered by the lack of a fix, bringing this up in the Clojure or Clojure Dev Google groups couldn't hurt (signed CA on file required for Clojure Dev group membership – see http://clojure.org/contributing )