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CMR Sitrep
Thursday, June 11, 2009
New Army Appointment, Polls, but Still Little Support for Gays in the Military

John McHugh Named as Secretary of the Army

This article in Politico, titled "Gay Groups Grow Impatient with Obama" suggests that HASC Ranking Member John McHugh, recently named as the next Secretary of the Army, may be a stealth advocate for gays in the military. The article's key quote: "The Pentagon also has toned down public opposition to reversing the gay ban, and the new secretary of the Army's job will be, in part, to smooth the way for that move."

Really-who knew? If the statement is correct, (and it may not be) it may explain why McHugh sat quietly and did not intervene when Democratic members of the committee tried to divert attention from the testimony of Elaine Donnelly and Sgt. Maj. Brian Jones, through disrespectful decorum and stunning rudeness when the two testified before the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee last summer.

Members of the Senate considering the nomination may want to know whether Rep. McHugh endorses the gay activists' campaign to pressure President Obama into issuing an Executive Order to suspend enforcement of the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military. This would be a surprise, since Mr. McHugh, through his long tenure on the Committee, has earned respect for his expertise on national security issues. McHugh also has long defended congressional prerogatives in the writing of laws. Does he now agree with gay activists that the president can and should sign an Executive Order disregarding the law? As Elaine Donnelly wrote in this article for NRO such an action would be an affront to Congress that would break faith with the troops that President Obama leads.

Even as Secretary of the Army, John McHugh could not repeal the law singlehandedly. Members of the Republican Conference announced on Tuesday that Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) will be the new Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. CMR trusts that Congressman McKeon will give military/social issues the serious attention they deserve.

Two Polls on Gays in the Military

The Gallup organization has issued another poll of civilian opinion on gays in the military. As with similar surveys, the percentage in favor of allowing openly-homosexual men and women in the military increased in this poll to 69%.

Conservatives Shift in Favor of Openly Gay Service Members

Like most of the civilian polls, this one may be skewed by a phenomenon common in opinion surveys: As a group of experts from the Roper organization explained to members of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces in 1992, survey respondents who believe that a policy already exists are more likely to say that they favor it. In this case, the PR campaign constantly pushing the idea that there are many gays already in the military leads some people to approve what they believe to be true already.

The poll is specific enough to register church attendance and political affiliations, but admits at the end that "the poll data do not break out the attitudes of current members of the military or provide a read on the views of current military leadership, whose reactions may be a major factor in the Obama administration's decisions on a change in policy."

Earlier this year the Pew Research Center did another civilian poll in which support for gays in the military dropped one point, from 60% in March 2006 to 59% in March 2009:

Americans Favor Carbon Cap, Gays in the military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties

We found this news incidentally while researching a different subject. The Pew Survey, which is less favorable to the gay activist cause, received almost no news coverage.

The most relevant polls have been done by the Military Times, which counts only the opinions of active-duty respondents. This article explains why this poll provides more insight than all the civilian polls put together:

Poll on Gays in the Military Perturbs Palm Center

Congressional Attempts to Repeal the Law

Barney Frank admits again that Congress does not have the votes, but intends to push for repeal of the 1993 law next year:

Gay Rights Bills Remain Stalled in Congress

In this Marine Corps Times article, Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls for "responsible leadership" on the issue of gays in the military, but fails to provide it.

Mullen: 'Don't Ask' Talks to Move Slowly

Note how the admiral casually equates people on our side with people on their side:

"The issue has strong proponents in favor of repeal and for keeping the status quo. Mullen said that no matter what happens, he doesn't want troops already under great stress over repeated deployments, lack of time back home and years of unconventional warfare to become a tool of either side. 'I think it's important not become a polarizing debate that has the force in the middle,' Mullen said. 'And that's going to take responsible leadership on every aspect of this discussion. And I want to emphasize 'responsible leadership.'"

Adm. Mullen's comfort with this old tactic of the left does not inspire confidence.
posted by CMR Editor @ 6/11/2009 12:24:00 AM

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