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Posted on Oct 23, 2011 Print this Article

Issue 26: October 2011

Chapter One: Chronicles of the LGBT Law

Showdown Looms on Defense Bill Amendments to Protect Marriage

Now that President Barack Obama has imposed LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) law and related policies on the military, the Center for Military Readiness will continue to take the lead in reporting information that major media have ignored. 

Contrary to the notion that the Department of Defense was prepared to smoothly implement LGBT law and related policies in the military, officials have failed to provide to Congress specific enforcement regulations that the repeal legislation required.  House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) and Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC) wrote a stiff letter asking for delay in the implementation until regulations are provided, but the Pentagon ignored them: 

Read more here.

On September 21, one day after repeal went into effect, Defense Department officials revealed their true intent regarding same-sex marriage.  In two memoranda, the Pentagon authorized the use of military facilities for "religious ceremonies," and the option for chaplains to conduct those ceremonies without official endorsement.  Unlike an April 13 Navy memo on the same subject, which sparked enormous controversy, this time the word "marriage" was omitted, in an obvious, disingenuous attempt to circumvent the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

The new policy belies assurances to Congress that the federal DOMA would preclude same-sex marriages on military bases, and the extension of housing, medical, education, transportation, and other family benefits to same-sex military couples.  In effect, the Defense Department is extending the unofficial status of a "religious ceremony" on base grounds, conducted by a willing military chaplain, but without the monetary benefits available to opposite-sex legally-married couples. 

Question: If the same-sex couple "religious ceremony" is not a "marriage" subject to the DOMA definition, what is it?  The two memos appear to invite litigation to redefine marriage, concurrent with the Obama administration's increasingly determined attempts to eliminate the DOMA.

The only way to protect DOMA in the military is to retain amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (NDAA), which the House passed after CMR warned of the impending problem and worked with staff members to find a way to resolve it: 

To his credit, HASC Chairman McKeon has announced that he will not cooperate with the administration in passing the Defense Authorization Bill if House-passed amendments to protect the definition of marriage in the military are not retained in the final legislation:

Read more here.

In the meantime, activists are publicizing lists of demands that always were part of their post-repeal agenda: recognition of same-sex marriages, extension of housing, education, medical, transportation, and other family benefits, plus recruiting efforts to increase the number of LGBT personnel, and the inclusion of transgendered personnel with full benefits: 

Read more here.

So many things are happening, and it is difficult to keep up with waves of news about the effects of LGBT law and policies in the military.  In the meantime, a presidential race is underway.  CMR is non-partisan, but we intend to provide information necessary for voters to decide:

Although some groups are expressing alarm about all this, only CMR has been staying on top of these issues full time.  History did not end on September 20, and opinion-leaders continue to turn to CMR for up-to-date information on military/social issues in the military.  CMR will continue to report what is happening−events, controversies, and unresolved issues that CMR predicted would happen months ago.

Note:  We are in the process of updating our email capability.  You will soon receive a request for permission to send you future CMR emails.  Please be sure to click "Yes," so that we can be in touch with you again soon.

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1.  LGBT Law Implemented Without Regulations

These articles praise House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon for the stern letter he wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, asking for delay in the implementation of the repeal of DADT until enforcement regulations required by the repeal legislation are provided to Congress.

Several members of the military have contacted CMR about incidents involving blatant discrimination and "zero tolerance" imposed with punishments—sometimes for doing nothing more than questioning or expressing concerns about personal privacy under LGBT law and policies in the military. 

2.  Defense Department Attempts to Circumvent the Defense of Marriage Act

It did not take long for the still-unresolved controversy about rights of conscience and religious liberty to heat up, starting with military chaplains and same-sex marriage in states where it is legal:

Contrary to repeated assurances to Congress that the Defense of Marriage Act would preclude same-sex marriages and benefits in the military, the two recent Defense Department memos in question authorize “religious ceremonies" conducted by willing chaplains using military facilities, which the Pentagon will allow even though the resulting relationship does not qualify for official recognition or benefits. 

A unofficial “religious ceremony“ marriage resulting from the recent Defense Department memos seems to fit the description of what the Pentagon Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) said it would not recommend: a same-sex "unmarried committed relationship."  The CRWG recognized that such relationships would, in themselves, create a new inequity with unmarried opposite-sex couples who will want to have "religious ceremonies" to recognize their "committed relationships" on military bases too, even if they do not involve official recognition and associated family benefits.  (pp. 142-146, CRWG Report, Nov. 30, 2010.)  The grounds for litigation to achieve the administration’s goals are obvious.

If the Defense Department had complied with HASC Chairman "Buck" McKeon's repeated requests to see implementing regulations, this blatant end-run around the DOMA would have been revealed to the 112th Congress months ago.

The only way to protect marriage, rights of conscience, and religious liberty in the military is to enact as law both the Todd Akin and Vicky Hartzler amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that protect marriage in the military.  Two additional amendments in the Defense Appropriations Bill would bar funding of such unions.

Let your member of Congress or the US Senate know how you feel about this issue by calling the US Capitol at 202/224-3121.  Detailed information about your members of Congress can be found at CongressMerge.com.

3.  Gay Activists Prepare to Demand More From the Military

On the weekend of October 13-15, OutServe, a formerly-underground group of gay servicemembers, conducted a "Summit in Las Vegas" for current and former gay service members.  As stated in an interview with the Washington Times, OutServe scheduled the convention of LGBT personnel and their supporters to "discuss their new freedom and what they want from the military." 

Several articles have reported on various demands from the OutServe group and allies such as the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).  High on the list are same-sex marriage with full family benefits and the inclusion of transgendered personnel.

OutServe is claiming that workshops are for information, but it is inappropriate and divisive for any subgroup of the military to set itself apart and to hold conventions to focus on special interest demands centered only on themselves.   Such activities are not unusual in European militaries, but special interest activist groups and labor unions are not allowed in our military. 

Someone should have explained this to Douglas Wilson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, who agreed to speak at the OutServe dinner on October 15.  Wilson's appearance might remind people that President Barack Obama owns the "San Francisco Military" he has created.

Why Las Vegas?

Andrea Stone of the Huffington Post provided interesting background on the OutServe event:

Stone quoted an OutServe spokeswoman in reporting that the event took place in Las Vegas as a "sentimental choice" of group founder Josh Seefried, an Air Force lieutenant formerly known by the pseudonym "J.D. Smith."  Seefried met his partner together with two additional OutServe board members at "Deployment Vegas," a "more social gathering" for servicemembers that began clandestinely at a gay resort in Las Vegas three years ago.

Deployment Vegas, which took place last year in August, changed the date to celebrate the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on the same weekend as the OutServe event elsewhere in the city.  Such an arrangement would seem to avoid mistakes made at the infamous 1991 Tailhook Association convention in Las Vegas, which held seminars with high-ranking Navy officials in attendance by day and partied in the same hotel at night.  Some naval officers behaved badly in alcohol-soaked hospitality suites and parties celebrating the end of the Persian Gulf War, and the ensuing Tailhook scandal shook the Navy for years.

We don't know whether the OutServe “Summit” and coinciding "Deployment Vegas" gatherings could be described as a "Malehook" convention.  Don't even ask−liberal media won't tell.

4.  Marine Recruiters Chasing Rainbows?

LGBT activists are expecting special recruiting efforts for LGBT personnel, even though the DoD will not identify personnel and recruits with reference to "sexual orientation:"

The Marine Corps, unfortunately, appears to be succumbing to such pressures.  Shortly after September 20, a group of recruiters spent apparently non-productive hours looking for prospects in a Tulsa, OK gay activist center:

Less than 24 hours before, Defense Under Secretary for Personnel & Readiness Clifford L. Stanley released a one-page directive stating, "Sexual orientation may not be a factor in accession, promotion, separation, or other personnel decision-making."  Given this directive, what were Marine recruiters doing in a gay community center, participating in a media event? 

On October 9, the Los Angeles Times reported that local Marine recruiters allowed a San Gabriel Valley Gay Pride group to "cover" a $150 exhibitor fee so that the Marines (who had already exhausted funds for the fiscal year) could participate in a Pasadena City College event:

Both the New York and Los Angeles Times articles sent a mixed message that was entirely unnecessary and in conflict with the solid, special image of Marines.  Compliance with the LGBT law is required, but there is no need to “jump the shark.”  (Definition: The moment in the evolution of an institution when a brand, design, or creative effort moves beyond the essential qualities that initially defined its success, beyond relevance or recovery.) 

Who benefited more−the Marines, or the gay pride groups in Oklahoma and Pasadena who invited them to show up in uniform in the presence of major media?   Recruiters, who have a tough job, regularly go to venues that are most likely to produce leads and prospects.  But at a time when the economy is weak and accessions/retention are high, Marines need to objectively assess the cost/benefit analysis of appearances at gay pride events.

5.  Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Halts Log Cabin Republican Attempt to Use Federal Courts To Impose LGBT Agenda on a Permanent Basis

In September 2010 activist US District Judge Virginia Phillips, posing as the "Supreme Judicial Commander of the Military," issued a worldwide injunction ordering the Defense Department to stop enforcing the 1993 gays-in-the-military law.  The gay activist group Log Cabin Republicans, which revived the case in Judge Phillips' California court in 2009, has been trying ever since to get the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Phillips' rogue opinion, which was appealed.  LCR lawyers have taken this extreme position even though the case was brought with questionable plaintiffs, and the case was not a class-action suit.

The Log Cabin activists lost on September 29 when Judge Phillips' decision was declared moot, due to the September 20 “certification” of the repeal of the law in question:

The Ninth Circuit Court slammed the door in an unequivocal opinion: (emphasis added)

"Because Log Cabin has stated its intention to use the district court’s judgment collaterally, we will be clear:  It may not. Nor may its members or anyone else. We vacate the district court’s judgment, injunction, opinions, orders, and factual findings—indeed, all of its past rulings—to clear the path completely for any future litigation. Those now-void legal rulings and factual findings have no precedential, preclusive, or binding effect."

Ninth Circuit Judge, Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, in a concurring opinion, made the sound arguments that the Department of Justice should have made when the LCR case was first filed:

"[W]hen a right is not rooted in our constitutional text, traditions, or history, our authority as judges is at its end. We must then leave the task of identifying and protecting new rights where the Constitution leaves it—with the political branches and the people." 

Had the Justice Department done its duty in defending the law with sound arguments rooted in the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents, the Congress may not have been persuaded that they had to act before the courts decided for them.

The Log Cabin Republicans are appealing their latest defeat because they still want to shut the door to a future president or Congresses who might want to promulgate regulations or pass legislation that repeals all or some of the harmful applications of the LGBT law.  Activists on both sides agree that the next president could administratively reinstate the findings and regulations that were in place prior to President Bill Clinton, which were codified as law in 1993.  Such a change would require political support in both houses, however:

The radical LCR brief also indicated that their agenda has always been about retroactive benefits for past "discrimination," which they wanted the courts to declare permanently unconstitutional.  Positions such as this put the group far outside the consensus of Republican thought.

6.  Mandatory LGBT Training

Gay activist Alexander Nicholson, who was a plaintiff with questionable standing in the Log Cabin Republicans case described above, bragged in an interview that "Two million of America's most conservative youth went through this [LGBT] training.  "It was an opportunity to realize the normalcy of the gay community."

This article about an LGBT training program being implemented in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) demonstrates how far activists are prepared to go with ideological training:

The USDA PowerPoint presentation, soaked in pure LGBT ideology, includes an explanation of gay slang and transgender terms.  The training says people who view marriage as being between only one man and one woman are guilty of “heterosexism,” which is compared to racism.

All of this is relevant because in September 1994, Bill Clinton's Defense Department conducted a “Diversity Day Training Event” in Pentagon City, which featured outside gay activists, an anti-Christian film called “On Being Gay,” and much more. Other government agencies did the same.  Conservative groups strongly objected, and they didn’t do it again…until now in the USDA and Health & Human Services.  Watch for the armed forces to be next. 

7.  CMR Joins Coalition for the Common Defense

At the same time that social engineering burdens are being loaded on our military, resources are being taken away, due to current and threatened budget cuts.  We cannot afford to allow the All-Volunteer Force to be hollowed out in ways we have not seen since President Jimmy Carter.  The recent debt ceiling debate and crisis-inspired legislation have put our military at risk. 

A 12-member bi-partisan congressional "Super-Committee" will either deadlock or recommend even more drastic cuts in the defense budget on top of those occurring already.  Stalemate or rejection of their plan by Congress would trigger even more drastic cuts over ten years.  The strength of our military has been put in jeopardy by a process that will have no effect on entitlement spending increases that have caused the deficit to soar.

The Center for Military Readiness is working with a new coalition of like-minded local and national organizations, grassroots leaders, and individuals committed to the constitutional imperative “...to provide for the common defense.”   

This initiative, called the Coalition for the Common Defense (CCD), will expand and build upon CMR's ongoing efforts to promote sound priorities and high standards to support our military men and women.

As a first step, the CCD has adopted a Statement of Principles.  Among other things, the Statement of Principle affirms unequivocally:

"Without provision for the “common defense,” as articulated by the Founders, the freedom that has allowed unprecedented opportunity and prosperity to flourish in this country would soon be imperiled....Economic prosperity depends on a strong national defense."

The CCD website displays a wealth of information on the subjects before the "Super Committee," and it is worth a visit as the debate heats up.  Be sure to sign up for updates.

Thank you for making it possible to support our men and women in uniform in this unique area of public policy.

* * * * *

You are receiving this email from the Center for Military Readiness, an independent, non-partisan 501(c)(3) public policy organization that specializes in military social issues.   More information is available at www.cmrlink.org.

 

 

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 Print this Article