Tag archives: Dont-Ask-Dont-Tell

It’s More Than a Feeling

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 1, 2010

One of the most striking things Defense Sec. Gates said during his remarks today regarding the military’s survey on homosexuality related to what he called “feelings:”

Views towards gay and lesbian Americans have changed considerably during this period, and have grown more accepting since Dont Ask Dont Tell was first enacted. But feelings on this matter can still run deep and divide, often starkly, along demographic, cultural and generational lines not only in society as a whole, but in the uniformed ranks as well.

The objections many men and women in uniform, and their families, have toward allowing homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces are not grounded in “feelings.” A feeling is an emotion, something that can change depending on one’s blood-sugar level.

What Sec. Gates seems to have tried to articulate, but not summoned the moral courage to state outright, is that people who believe homosexuality is morally wrong are poor (that would be demography), uneducated (there’s your lack of “cultural” maturity), and habituated to bigotry (“generational”).

He is as wrong as he is condescending: Homosexuality is described as a sin against God in both biblical Testaments. Those of us who believe the Bible’s commands transcend time and any society’s “growing acceptance” (Sec. Gates’ phrase) will remain opposed to the “mainstreaming” of homosexuality, period.

That’s a moral statement, Mr. Secretary. It’s not a feeling. It will not change until the Bible changes, which is, for the record, never.

In the Military, Racial Integration and Sexual Liberation Are Not the Same Thing

by Peter Sprigg

October 22, 2010

Mark Thompson has posted a piece on Time magazines Swampland blog regarding the possible overturning (which he considers inevitable) of the current law against homosexual conduct in the military.

Such a radical change in military policy is hardly inevitable. Legislation to repeal the law is on life support following last months Senate vote to block it, and Judge Virginia Phillips muddled ruling that the law is unconstitutional ignored so much existing precedent that it is unlikely to be upheld.

Thompson, however, has delved into the archives of military history and relates findings about how African Americans were integrated within the armed forces without major difficulty. He concludes that the integration of homosexuals would take place just as smoothly.

One key difference, of course, is that blacks had long been eligible to serve in the military, but had served in segregated units. In contrast, homosexuals have always been considered ineligible for military service at all. (The popular misnomer Dont Ask Dont Tell misleads many into believing that active homosexuals are currently welcomed by the military as long as they stay in the closet. The truth is the oppositethe 1993 law mandates, with very limited exceptions, the discharge of any servicemember who has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts.)

Furthermore, Thompson simply assumes the answer to two critical threshold questions:

1) Is being gay like being black?

2) Is sexual conduct relevant to military effectiveness?

The logical answer to #1 is no. Homosexuality is a behavioral characteristic; being black is a superficial matter of skin color. The racial integration of the military was successful precisely because it proved that the behavior of black soldiers did not differ from that of whites. But with homosexuality, a difference in behavior is what defines the issue. Do not be fooled by vague references to sexual orientation as though it were an innate characteristicwhat homosexual activists now seek is the right to continue engaging in homosexual acts while in the military .

Homosexual activists compare sexual orientation to race in order to obscure the important differences between sexual attractions, behavior, and self-identification. Only the attractions are, like race, involuntary; but none of these elements of sexual orientation are (like race) inborn, immutable, innocuous, and in the Constitution. The 1993 law which homosexual activists seek to overturn is focused on homosexual conduct, and treats attractions or self-identification as relevant only because they are evidence of a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.

So does the military have a legitimate interest in regulating the sexual conduct of its members? The answer has always been yes, with respect to heterosexual conduct as well as homosexual. Adultery, for instance, remains a crime in the military, at a time when the civil law has long since become indifferent to it. As Congress found in 1993, high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion … are the essence of military capability, and there is no doubt that sexual conduct can threaten those standards and harm that capability.

Sexual tension, sexual harassment, and sexual assault are problems that exist among heterosexuals in the militarybut those problems would increase if homosexuals were allowed to serve, because it would be impossible to separate homosexuals the way that men and women are separated in their most intimate settings (showers, sleeping quarters, etc.). Increased health problems among homosexuals (in particular, dramatically higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV among men who have sex with men) would pose a direct challenge to military readiness.

The analogy to the racial integration of the military, even if it had any validity, would apply only to the concern that homosexuality in the military would damage recruiting and retention of personnel. But those are only two out of the nine likely negative consequences of repealing the current law that were identified by Col. Robert Maginnis in the FRC booklet Mission Compromised. The others are:

  • Damage to unit effectiveness.
  • Health consequences with high cost.

  • Threats to freedom of those who morally object to homosexuality.
  • Special protections for homosexuals.
  • Taxpayer-funded benefits to homosexual partners of servicemembers.
  • Possibility of costly new living arrangements to protect privacy.
  • Changes to military law and regulations regarding sexual offenses.

The argument that, as the gay newsmagazine The Advocate recently declared on its cover, Gay is the New Black, is one that most blacks resent, and that simply cannot stand up to serious scrutiny.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Press Conference with Bishop Harry Jackson

by Jared Bridges

September 21, 2010

Below is video of Bishop Harry Jackson’s press conference hosted yesterday (September 20, 2010) at FRC Headquarters in Washington, D.C.:

Participants:

Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman, High Impact Leadership Coalition

Pastor Aubrey Shines, Tampa, FL

Pastor Christopher Brooks, Detroit, MI

Bishop Leon Benjamin, Richmond, VA

Reverend Dean Nelson, Washington, DC

Austin Nimocks, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Video: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Press Conference

by Carrie Russell

June 7, 2010

Excerpts from a news conference to discuss how overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will seriously undermine the religious liberties of those serving in the all-volunteer force, most particularly military chaplains.

In attendance:

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA)

Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ)

Congressman Steve King (R-IA)

Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO)

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Congressman Todd Tihart (R-KS)

Douglas Lee, Chaplain (Brigadier General) USA (Ret)

Kevin Theriot, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

Pastors from Key States

May 27, 2010, Washington, DC.

Transcript: Tony Perkins Interviews Senator John McCain (R-Az) About Dont Ask, Dont Tell on Washington Watch Weekly Radio

by Jared Bridges

May 21, 2010

From the May 21, 2010 edition of Washington Watch Weekly:

TONY PERKINS: Since President Obama announced his plans to force open homosexuality in the military, liberal members in Congress have been chomping at the bit to force the change, even though the military is in the midst of a six month review of how to impellent this change without hurting military readiness, and which numerous studies have shown that it would. Well the study is to be presented to Congress the first of December, but a Michigan senator, Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, hopes to amend the Defense Authorization bill next week. Joining us from Capitol Hill is Senator John McCain who represents Arizona; hes been representing Arizona since 1982. Hes a true American hero, having served twenty-two years as a naval aviator, a survivor of the North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp in Hanoi. I have to tell you his fighting spirit is well known and respected on Capitol Hill Senator McCain, thanks for joining us on Washington Watch Radio.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Thank you Tony, and again thanks for all you do for the men and women in the military, for our nations security and the values that we hold dear.

TONY PERKINS: Well thank you Senator and I didnt mention that youre also the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, so youre right on the front lines of this fight over the military. Now were expecting Senator Levin the chairman to try and amend a military authorization bill which is a spending bill. This gives money to the military is that correct?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Yes, and it does authorize, it would be if you thought it was appropriate it would be a vehicle that would contain a policy change. But the fact is as you mention there is a study going on. The secretary of defense recently openly stated that they should allow the study to be completed before any congressional action should be taken. By the way I have a big problem with the study itself. The study should be on the impact on battle effectiveness on morale in the military if the policy of Dont Ask, Dont Tell the law, not the policy the law of Dont Ask, Dont Tell, were repealed. Instead Secretary Gates, to my great disappointment, is conducting a study as to how best to implement it in other words its a fait accompli because of no other reason than President Obamas campaign promise. The military is at its highest level of effectiveness, morale, equipment, training, professionalism, and why we would want to disrupt that when were in the middle of two wars is something that I find very, very wrong.

TONY PERKINS: Yeah, its a very important distinction to make and you have made that both in committee and in correspondence to the Secretary of Defense, and I think the public needs to be aware that the review that is taking place is how to implement this change, not if the change should be made. However, in the process, and I know this from some meetings over at the Pentagon with those that are doing this review, that theyre uncovering some problems that they did not anticipate. Can not Congress when they come back with this review in December then explore more deeply into these issues that have come up and come to its own conclusion that this is not the best approach for the military?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Well, obviously Congress plays a role, but I dont think it should play a preemptive role. We should assess the impact of change in this law on battle effectiveness we have a military for only one reason, and people join the military for only one reason and that is to fight. And its our obligation and defend our nations security and we have an obligation it seems to me to make sure that we dont do anything that would disrupt or diminish that capability, especially when we are in two wars, in order to carry out a campaign promise of the President of the United States, not because there is any movement, any outcry, any request for the change to be made. The Commandant of the Marine Corps has come out flat out saying he opposes repeal in fact the Commandant of the Marine Corps said that they would have to look at living arrangements that the Marine Corps has, so the implications of this change in law has to be assessed carefully. Instead apparently the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who said today, its carried in the news today, that Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy will be nothing but a memory by years end, Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Wednesday. So I think its good that we review every policy no matter what it is from time to time and review of the policy is something that I know, Tony, you and I would agree on, but a preemptive repeal without any study, without any assessment on the impact of battle effectiveness is in my view putting our social agenda, or the liberal social agenda, ahead of national security.

TONY PERKINS: Well Senator McCain that brings up a question, or an observation: those that are really pushing this agenda to essentially use the military to advance their social agenda-

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Thats it-

TONY PERKINS: How many of them have actually served in the military?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: (laughter) I dont know of any. There may be a few Congressman Sestak has, I dont know his position on the issue, I havent heard it yet but the point is that the people that I talk to and know, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, have both come out strongly against the repeal, and certainly even more strongly against a process that would preemptively address an issue which, could, could, I emphasize could we havent done the study could adversely affect the morale and battle effectiveness of the United States military, the by far and head and shoulders above and better than any other in the world today.

TONY PERKINS: Absolutely, without question I know a lot of people point to militaries that have allowed homosexuality within the ranks theres twenty-five of almost two hundred nations but the top militaries in the world do not allow homosexuality to be openly engaged in, in the military I mean, if you want a military that just does parades and stuff like that then I guess thats okay.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Could we also emphasize a point thats lost in this debate sometime, particularly by the liberal media we dont, we do not tell someone who is homosexual that they cant join the military we dont tell them that-

TONY PERKINS: Right.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: We, in fact, we appreciate the fact that all Americans would want to join the military. What we are saying is that that sexual orientation theyre kept quiet about, and they can have the whatever orientation they choose; because in 1993 we passed the Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy because we thought that was the best way to maintain morale and battle effectiveness in the United States military.

TONY PERKINS: The focus-

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: So its not discriminatory and no one forces anyone to join the military and if they wanna have a sexual orientation we dont keep them from having that orientation.

TONY PERKINS: Well its all focused on behavior and the same standards apply to heterosexuals who are-

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Right.

TONY PERKINS: Cannot engage in adultery thats a crime in the military and people dont realize that, that there is a higher standard for the military for the very purposes that you outlined, Senator.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Well I hope our listeners will take an interest in this issue. And I know that theres a whole lot of other issues out there, the economy, joblessness, Iranian nuclear buildup, immigration, theres a whole lot of other issues, but this issue has significant long-term implication for our ability to defend this nation. So I hope listeners of this show, Tony, will take an interest. Contact Family Research Council for more information, contact our office and weigh in on this issue because it really does have significant long-term implications.

TONY PERKINS: Senator I couldnt, I could not agree with you more. Senator John McCain, thanks for joining us.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Thank you, Tony.

Listen to the audio:

An Officer and a Lawbreaker

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 10, 2010

Lt. Dan Choi is back training with his National Guard unit.

Conventionally, this would be about as newsworthy as saying that paint dries: officers serve with their units all the time. But Lt. Choi is, by his own definition, different - he is openly homosexual. He has been appearing in the media, actively calling for a reversal of the 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy concerning homosexuality.

According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, homosexuality is incompatible with military service. This is not a statement of preference, but a law. All members of the Armed Forces are required to take an oath to uphold it. Yet here we have a situation where an openly gay man, in violation of the law and, according to news accounts, with the support of his commanding officer, is wearing the uniform of our nation.

Let us say for the sake of argument that homosexuality is a moral good and that those who practice homosexual conduct should actively be recruited to serve in the country’s military (of course, Family Research Council and I personally disavow these arguments). I would still be calling for Lt. Choi’s dismissal from the service and his superior’s discipline. The military code is not a set of arcane rules that can be followed at the personal discretion of those serving. It is the ironclad law of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. It is enacted by the United States Congress and signed into effect by the Commander in Chief.

Lt. Choi is flaunting the law, showing contempt for it for the sake of his personal philosophical agenda. In doing so, he is demonstrating his unfitnes as “an officer and gentleman.” What if his peers choose to obey only those orders they want? “Well, sir - and by the way, I don’t like calling you sir - taking that hill right now seems like a bad idea to me. Think I’ll go take a nap.” Order, discipline, duty, respect, achievement of mission: all are, by virtue of Dan Choi’s continued role in the Army, placed at grave risk.

Men and women in uniform do not serve at their pleasure or under the human resources regulations of civilian life. Of necessity, for the sake of the life and death circumstances intrinsic to being part of the Armed Forces, they operate under a different, particularly crafted set of rules - rules that are the law.

No American, whether in the military or not, has the right to obey only those laws he or she wishes. This is the path to moral chaos and political anarchy. It is the road to collapse.

Everything Youve Heard About Dont Ask, Dont Tell is Wrong

by Peter Sprigg

February 4, 2010

One thing I have noticed in the debate over homosexuals in the military is that roughly 99.5% of the American public, including 99.5% of long-time Washington political reporters and 99.5% of members of Congress, believe three key things about the issue.

  1. The current policy regarding homosexuals in the military is governed by a law known as Dont Ask, Dont Tell.
  2. Under current law, homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military as long as they are not open about their sexual orientation.
  3. Doing away with Dont Ask, Dont Tell would allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military.

Each of these three statements is false.

Dont Ask, Dont Tell is not the law of the land. It was a compromise policy announced by the Clinton Administration in July of 1993, after their original proposal to simply open the military to homosexuals was widely rejected.[i]

When Congress adopted legislation on this issue in November of 1993, they did not say that homosexuals were welcome to serve in the military. On the contrary, they declared, The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.[ii]

Doing away with the Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy would only allow more consistent enforcement of the current law against homosexuality in the military, unless Congress were to also repeal the law that they adopted in 1993.

For the record, here are the findings that Congress madeand that President Clinton signed into lawin 1993. This is the current law regarding homosexuality in the military:

Congress makes the following findings:

`(1) Section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States commits exclusively to the Congress the powers to raise and support armies, provide and maintain a Navy, and make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.

`(2) There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces.

`(3) Pursuant to the powers conferred by section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States, it lies within the discretion of the Congress to establish qualifications for and conditions of service in the armed forces.

`(4) The primary purpose of the armed forces is to prepare for and to prevail in combat should the need arise.

`(5) The conduct of military operations requires members of the armed forces to make extraordinary sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, in order to provide for the common defense.

`(6) Success in combat requires military units that are characterized by high morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion.

`(7) One of the most critical elements in combat capability is unit cohesion, that is, the bonds of trust among individual service members that make the combat effectiveness of a military unit greater than the sum of the combat effectiveness of the individual unit members.

`(8) Military life is fundamentally different from civilian life in that—

`(A) the extraordinary responsibilities of the armed forces, the unique conditions of military service, and the critical role of unit cohesion, require that the military community, while subject to civilian control, exist as a specialized society; and

`(B) the military society is characterized by its own laws, rules, customs, and traditions, including numerous restrictions on personal behavior, that would not be acceptable in civilian society.

`(9) The standards of conduct for members of the armed forces regulate a member’s life for 24 hours each day beginning at the moment the member enters military status and not ending until that person is discharged or otherwise separated from the armed forces.

`(10) Those standards of conduct, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, apply to a member of the armed forces at all times that the member has a military status, whether the member is on base or off base, and whether the member is on duty or off duty.

`(11) The pervasive application of the standards of conduct is necessary because members of the armed forces must be ready at all times for worldwide deployment to a combat environment.

`(12) The worldwide deployment of United States military forces, the international responsibilities of the United States, and the potential for involvement of the armed forces in actual combat routinely make it necessary for members of the armed forces involuntarily to accept living conditions and working conditions that are often spartan, primitive, and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy.

`(13) The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a longstanding element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service.

`(14) The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.

`(15) The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.


[i] Susan Yoachum and Carolyn Lochhead, Clinton Orders New Gay-GI Policy: He concedes few will like compromise, The San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 1993, p. A1.

[ii] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, Public Law 103-160, November 30, 1993, Title V, Subtitle G, Sec. 571, Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces (10 U.S.C. 654); online at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c103:5:./temp/~c103HPMAIr:e399464:

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