Wednesday, January 28, 2009
President Obama Pushes to Deliver on Gays in the Military
1. The Obama White House
Within minutes of the Inauguration, the White House website posted this:
Support for the LGBT Community
"Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
- Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
- Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals."
The White House statement advocating repeal of the 1993 law is straight out of the gay activists' playbook. The "key test" it mentions implies that there is a right to serve in the military. The truth is that sometimes there is an obligation, but there is no right to serve in the military. Many people who are capable and patriotic are not eligible for military service.
- The issue of discharges of homosexuals is addressed here.
- And the "Arabic linguist" issue is addressed in the July 23, 2008, testimony of Elaine Donnelly, on pages 23-25.
- With regard to family status and housing of gays in the military. It is entirely possible that if the 1993 law is repealed, the DoD could order acceptance of civil unions or something comparable to marriage so that there would be no "discrimination" against same-sex couples.
- In Britain, which is supposed to be our role model, same-sex couples are living in family housing, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is meeting with LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) activist groups to discuss ways to include transgenders in the military. Contrary to suggestions that all is well in the gay-inclusive British military, gay activists are working with the MoD to reduce what they call "bullying." Britain is having problems with recruiting, even though officials have allowed gay service members to march in uniform in gay parades. (See Donnelly's testimony, pages 17-18 and footnotes 41 and 42.)
- Comment of Interest: Fox News' Megyn Kelly, who was reporting from the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball, said that the active duty and wounded people who were present were largely supportive of the new president, Barack Obama. She pointedly mentioned, however, that more than a few military people told her that they did not agree that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should be repealed.
- According to Politico, the issue of gays in the military will be the first of five "Top Lobbying Fights to Expect" in this Congress. This report contradicts other claims that action on the repeal bill will not occur until 2010.
3. News Reports
Anna Mulrine of US News & World Report, in a January 16 article titled "Obama to Confront Limits on America's Overstretched Military" reports that the Pentagon is "well underway" with a plan to grow the ranks of the military. The plan is to increase the Army by 65,000 soldiers by 2010, bringing active duty forces to a total of 547,000. The Marine Corps plans to add 27,000 to its ranks, growing to 202,000 by 2011.
Due to poor economic conditions, recruiting and retention are presently meeting goals. And it is possible that passage of the Tauscher bill, which would invite homosexuals who were denied before to join-would attract an unknown number of professed homosexuals, including those who were discharged or denied induction before.
But has anyone thought about the cultural clash between American gay troops and Muslim allies in Iraq and Afghanistan? Training Muslim troops is part of the job-how will the culture clash work in the field?
The American military has modified many American practices and customs to avoid giving offense. Will the military have to exempt gay soldiers from deployment to these areas? Or will they operate with additional stress that undermines trust and the training mission? These are only a few of the many questions that President Barack and members of Congress need to think through.
4. Message from the Field
The "Confidential Contact" feature on this website offers a way for active duty men and women to communicate with CMR in confidence. On January 15, we received this message from a serviceman in the field. His message is important and being conveyed to people in a position to make a difference.
"Ms. Elaine Donnelly:
I am writing you again to let you know that I am following this military personnel/social issue as closely as I can. Myself and the majority of my fellow Captains that I talk with about this issue are in agreement that the law needs to remain in place and be enforced. Quite frankly I am a little taken back of the notion that we could have an open acceptance of homosexuality in the U.S. Military. Whatever happened to morals and social boundaries?
I am praying that good decent people make the right decisions regarding this issue. This issue has far reaching implications for our military and our entire nation. I am saddened to see our nation slowing degrade its moral authority.
I thank you for standing up and protecting our military. I hope that my Generals will do the same. We are going to need a very large movement of the American people calling and writing their representatives in Congress about this issue."
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Interested readers, including members of the military, are invited to comment through the "Confidential Contact" site on this website, www.cmrlink.org. Nothing in the CMR SITREP Blog is intended to aid or hinder elections or the passage of legislation before Congress.