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Posted on Jan 17, 2012 Print this Article

Issue 27: January 2012

Chapter Two: Chronicles of the LGBT Law -- The Presidential Election

Last November the Center for Military Readiness continued our quadrennial tradition of polling presidential candidates on issues of concern to CMR.  This year, we teamed up with fourteen other conservative leaders of the Military Culture Coalition to conduct the MCC 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey.  They included Al Cardenas, American Conservative Union; Andrea Lafferty, Traditional Values Coalition; Gary Bauer, American Values, Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family/CitizenLink, Colin Hanna, Let Freedom Ring; Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum; Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy; Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel, Dr. James Dobson, of Family Talk, and other respected leaders and friends of CMR.

CMR is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates, but information provided through the Presidential Candidate Survey has been helpful to voters in the early states.  This is what presidential campaigns are supposed to be all about.

If one of the presidential candidates shows up at your local meeting or coffee shop, you can use information in this edition of CMR E-Notes to ask a question that indifferent media won't ask.  Keep in mind that active-duty military personnel are not as free to participate in the political process in the same way that informed civilians can.

Please take a moment to forward this message to friends or family, and invite them to join CMR and MCC leaders in seeking and supporting the best candidate for Commander-in-Chief. 

The MCC Survey and accompanying Background Information also has been helpful to candidates as they face uninformed and often hostile media during the presidential primary season.  The following articles discuss the importance of CMR issues in the current race for the White House: 

Donnelly on the Breitbart website, Big Peace:

Information in these articles and the MCC 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey was cited in this article in the Washington Times:

With your help we will continue advocating high standards and sound policies for the only military we have—building support so that in the near future we can take our military back. 

« « « « «

 A.  Presidential Race Should Find Best Candidate for Commander-in-Chief

All Republican presidential candidates should keep stressing the main campaign issues: We must cut spending and create an economic environment that supports job creation.  Prosperity depends on national security, and a strong national defense depends on a strong economy.  Still, questions about repeal of the 1993 law regarding gays in the military, usually mislabeled with the catch-phrase "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), will come up. 

CMR and the Military Culture Coalition have encouraged candidates to prepare with as much care as they do for questions about other matters of national security and social policy.  This includes information about their rivals' positions on military social issues:

Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Gingrich Answer Presidential Survey Questions

In responses to the Military Culture Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave solid answers to six questions about social issues in the military. 

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman did not respond to the MCC Survey, but made comments elsewhere:

Governor Mitt Romney

In an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said that he does not plan to change the law mandating acceptance of gays serving openly in the military.  Romney indicated that he was "not comfortable with making the change during a time of conflict," but "complicating features" of the new law "no longer present that problem" because the two wars in the Middle East are winding down. (See video at 35" -- The comment was not published in the newspaper.)

CMR Comment:  The military does not work that way.  Flawed policies that impose heavy "complicating features" on military men and women cannot be switched on and off, depending on the direction of political winds or promises made to LGBT activists of either political party.  Sound policies that reinforce morale and readiness should be maintained at all times.  Problems associated with repeal are no more acceptable now than in the midst of a shooting war.

Congressman Ron Paul

According to an October 26 article in The Hill's Blog Briefing Room, Ron Paul explained his 2010 votes for gays in the military during an interview with the Iowa State DailyThe Hill article, titled  "Ron Paul: Heterosexuals in Military 'Causing More Trouble than the Gays'." The article quotes Paul arguing that heterosexual relationships in the military were equally disruptive, and due to the larger proportion of heterosexual soldiers, more likely to occur. 

CMR Comment:  Congressman Paul has it half-right.  It is true that we have issues of sexual misconduct in the military.  But if we know that human imperfections exist, why should the Pentagon worsen the problem by adding new forms of sexual misconduct?  Such a policy reflects superficial thinking, not logic or sound leadership. 

Governor Jon Huntsman

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is a long-time supporter of civil unions.  According to the Daily Beast, an unofficial campaign advisor said that Huntsman has long consulted with the Log Cabin Republicans and is a supporter of their issues.  The article also indicated that he is not stressing these issues due to the need to draw conservative votes in Republican primaries.

On the most controversial issue that will face the next president, the following points are important to consider:

1.  Consequences of Repeal Still Undefined

With the help of misguided, lame-duck members of Congress in December 2010, President Obama delivered on his political promise to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activists who demanded repeal of the 1993 law regarding gays in the military.  Administration officials never claimed that repeal would improve military effectiveness.  Nor have they provided to Congress legally-required regulations spelling out how various aspects of the new policy would be interpreted and enforced.  The full impact of LGBT law, therefore, has yet to be determined.  1

2.  Claims of "Success" for Repeal are Premature

Shortly after repeal of the 1993 law took effect on September 20, 2011, gay activists and liberal media immediately claimed that since the sky hasn't fallen, "success" for repeal was a proven fact.  This sophistry and spin was premature and self-serving:

  • In the same way that effects of recently-announced defense budget cuts and force reductions may not be known for years, unprecedented policy changes that weaken the culture of the military will not be immediately apparent.  No one predicted otherwise.  This does not mean that all serious problems have been resolved.
  • With the exception of having to sit through one-hour LGBT training sessions, most active-duty personnel, even in the combat arms, have not been affected by repeal directly.  Under the previous law the percentage of homosexuals in the military was always less than one percent.
  • Still, in a recent online Military Times survey, of the 31% of active-duty respondents who indicated that someone in their unit "came out" as gay following the repeal, 5% reported no increased tension, but five times as many (26%) said that the new policy did create tension.  The liberal Gannet-owned newspaper has not investigated why.  An unprecedented social experiment is underway, but there are no Pentagon procedures for identifying and evaluating the results of LGBT law and policies in the military. 
  • The November 2010 Report of the Pentagon Working Group on this subject, which was not a "study," recommended ways to "mitigate" problems that active-duty personnel predicted during the Defense Department's surveys and focus groups. 2   Candidates can and should note that the Working Group and then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not claim that repeal would improve the military's effectiveness in any way.

3.  Defense Department Policies Should Assign Priority to Military Requirements

The public relations strategy that achieved repeal concentrated on the personal desires and feelings of a minority of personnel.  The campaign also took advantage of the confusion caused by Bill Clinton's administrative policy, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  The strategy disregarded requirements of military effectiveness, as well as the concerns of military leaders and uniformed personnel in all service branches−particularly those in close combat communities. 

4.  Controversy, Compassion, and Confidence

In discussions of this issue, courtesy and respect are appropriate and expected at all times.  Candidates need not be defensive, however, about public policies that reflect sound priorities, not political agendas.  The next Commander-in-Chief should support the interests of national security and all personnel in the military, not just a few. 

To deliver on political promises to civilian LGBT activists, the Obama Administration is taking its "non-discrimination" policy to extremes, imposing "zero tolerance" career penalties on anyone who disagrees, starting with the chaplains.  The next president should give explicit permission to all military leaders to report and testify about all problems objectively, and take administrative or legislative steps to correct problems associated with a social experiment that is only just begun.

________________________

[1] A long list of issues remain unresolved.  They include, for example, authorization for same-sex unions or simulated marriages on military bases (contradicting promises that the Defense of Marriage Act would be enforced in the military), family housing and child adoptions, education, housing and travel benefits,  rights of conscience and religious liberty, training and promotion policies that impose "zero tolerance" and career-ending penalties for dissent among chaplains and people of faith, personal privacy concerns, gay pride celebrations, and many others.

[2] House Armed Services Committee Chairman McKeon has noted that results of the Pentagon's 2010 survey of the troops on this issue were pre-determined and scripted before the survey even began.  In a July 28 statement, McKeon referenced a Department of Defense Inspector General Report, which investigated questionable tactics that the administration used to create the false impression that "about 70%" of military troops did not object to the repeal.  McKeon concluded, "The [lame-duck] Congress seized the conclusions of the faulty report and forced through a repeal bill over the stated reservations of the service chiefs..." 

[3] Following twelve hearings and field trips in 1993, congressional leaders realized that the courts would be unlikely to uphold a law codifying Clinton's proposal, DADT. How do you defend in court a law stating that homosexual conduct in the military does not matter, unless you say that you engage in that conduct?  Realizing that such an argument would fail on First Amendment grounds, the 1993 Congress passed a law codifying the regulations and findings that were in place long before Clinton took office.  In the 2010 Log Cabin case, activist Judge Virginia Phillips declared the entire law to be unconstitutional, due to the illogic of DADT.  Bill Clinton signed the actual law, Section 654,Title 10, USC, but contradicted its meaning by issuing enforcement regulations called DADT.

* * * * *

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, and CMR President Elaine Donnelly can be reached at elaine@cmrlink.org.

 

 

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 Print this Article