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Posted on Feb 26, 2012 Print this Article

Issue 28: February 2012

Chapter Three: Chronicles of "Diversity" and LGBT Law in the Military

The Center for Military Readiness will continue to chronicle the latest shifts in military policy that threaten to degrade the unique culture of the military.  My most recent article for the Breitbart website Big Peace puts the spotlight on the Obama Administration's relentless drive to incrementally force women into Army and Marine infantry battalions and Special Operations Forces.  I encourage you to click on the article and take a look at what is happening in today's Army.  The embedded video of a male trainee having to wear an "empathy belly" simulating pregnancy must be seen to be believed:

A Defense Department news conference on February 9 called for gender-integration in support units that collocate with direct ground combat battalions, such as the infantry, which attack the enemy under fire.  Nothing was said about making Marine basic training co-ed, but the Pentagon briefers called for a report on "gender-neutral" training standards that will be due six months from now−in August−while Congress is out of town. 

Marines who feel confident that feminized training will be limited to the Army need to think again.  No less than five times, the Department of Defense briefers promised that their plans to eliminate gender distinctions in land combat were incremental and "just the beginning, not the end."

Who will be watching out for the Marine Corps and its unique culture?  Don't count on Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and other Obama Administration officials who are pushing "diversity" taken to extremes, no matter what the cost.  Your CMR is the only independent group following these issues full-time, constantly advocating high standards and sound priorities in military/social issues.

Thank you for supporting CMR's voice in this unique field of public policy. 

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A.  Pentagon Pushes "Diversity" for Women in Land Combat

1.  Consequences of Feminizing Combat Units and Training

On February 9 the Department of Defense conducted a briefing announcing an incremental plan that will eventually force servicewomen into direct ground combat units such as Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces.  During the February 9 Defense Department briefing, speakers repeatedly said that the now-officially acknowledged changes in policies affecting women will be taken even further.  These were not casual comments−they must be taken at face value. 

CMR has done a preliminary analysis of the February 9 "Report to Congress on the Review of Laws, Policies and Regulations Restricting the Service of Female Members in the Armed Forces," linked here:

Pentagon Pushes "Diversity" for Women in Combat

As its primary justification, the Defense Department cites a report prepared by the congressionally-authorized Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), titled “From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century.”  The report, which argues that the military is just another equal opportunity employer subject to “diversity” mandates regardless of the consequences, should not be taken seriously—but it is.

The Diversity Report’s emphasis on career advancement is ironic, since the Defense Department has confirmed a secret that we already knew: In the military, for decades, women have been promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.  Officials failed to find any evidence of unfair discrimination against women in promotions.  The only rationale for eliminating women's exemptions from direct ground combat seems to be the desire to create a career path for the first female Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

2. Will "Gender-Neutral" Standards Make Marine Basic Training Co-Ed?

The Pentagon's report to Congress could not cite a single study documenting equality in male and female physical capabilities in a military context.  That is because there is no evidence that physiological differences can be overcome by training, leadership, or anything else. 

To circumvent this problem, the Pentagon plans to put the Army and Marine Corps at the mercy of academic “Women’s Studies” experts who believe that Army/Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces battalions are no different than domestic police and fire departments.  This is an insult to the intelligence of Congress and other sentient beings. 

The Defense Department report also called for a six-month delay before the submission of a report to Congress on promised "gender-neutral" training standards.  The delay seems to have only one logical reason: To prevent any action by Congress if Pentagon "diversity-crats" decide to call for co-ed basic training in the Marine Corps. 

3.  Selective Service Obligations by Default

The Defense Department Report claims that women's exemption from Selective Service obligations, which the Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional due to their ineligibility for land combat, will continue despite incremental changes in that status.  This short-sighted assurance does not even acknowledge the certainty of future litigation brought by ACLU attorneys representing men who want women to be drafted on the same basis as men in a future war.  Since the Defense Department clearly intends to give women "career opportunities" in direct ground combat units that currently are all-male, it would be foolish for Congress to ignore the neon-lit handwriting on the wall. 

In addition to CMR’s analysis, the following articles on the subject describe what is at stake:

B.  CMR Files FOIA Lawsuit with Thomas More Law Center

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has filed suit on behalf of the Center for Military Readiness against the Department of the Navy under the  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The purpose of the suit is to obtain documents that Navy officials are withholding. 

Among other things, CMR is pursuing documents that would reveal discussions and actions leading up to the repeal of Section 654, Title 10, USC, during the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress.  These documents should include all communications between Department of Defense appointees and the military service secretaries, combatant commanders and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and leaders of the Defense Department's Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG). 

In 2010, the CRWG conducted a survey of the troops on matters related to repeal of the 1993 law regarding gays in the military.  The documents that CMR is seeking might shed more light on events chronicled in a report of the Department of Defense Inspector General, who investigated CRWG activities and other events leading up to the repeal of the 1993 law.

As CMR reported in a June 2011 Policy Analysis, the Inspector General reported that the Executive Summary of the Defense Department's official survey of the troops was pre-scripted before the polling instrument was even distributed.  Furthermore, a highly-misleading news story that mischaracterized the survey results was leaked to the media just prior to the lame-duck vote for repeal in December. 

Members of the 111th Congress knew that repeal probably would not succeed in the 112th Congress, elected in November 2010.  Hence the rush to repeal the 1993 law without sufficient time for hearings and a thorough analysis of the Comprehensive Review Working Group report.

CMR is confident that the court will order release of the documents, which are important for accurate reporting on still-unfolding events with an impact on national security, and for historic perspective for the future.

C.  Legislation to Define and Protect Marriage and Rights of Conscience in the Military

The newly-enacted LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) law and related policies in the military have created irreconcilable conflicts with rights of conscience and religious liberty in the military.  As CMR reported in 2011, members of the House of Representatives approved two amendments to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that were designed to counter Pentagon efforts to circumvent the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. 

The two amendments sponsored by Missouri Republicans Rep. Todd Akin and Rep. Vicky Hartzler enjoyed bi-partisan support when enacted in the House version of the NDAA, but Democrats in the Conference Committee insisted that the amendments be dropped.  Another amendment offered by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), stated, "A military chaplain who, as a matter of conscience or moral principle, does not wish to perform a marriage, may not be required to do so."

The Wicker amendment was approved in conference committee and signed into law as part of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.  The measure helped by codifying an assurance already given by the Department of Defense, but it was not sufficient to address a long list of religious liberty issues that chaplains are facing under the new LGBT law.

In this article, CMR describes new, well-crafted legislation to protect rights of conscience for chaplains and people of faith in the military, sponsored by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS):  

Huelskamp Spearheads Military Religious Liberty Protection Act (HR 3828)

The "Military Religious Liberty Protection Act," (HR 3828)  addresses issues of concern that go beyond same-sex marriage to rights of conscience and speech in other areas, such as educational programs and marriage counseling.  The bill also would reaffirm congressional intent that the Defense of Marriage Act be enforced in the military, and that same-sex unions and "marriage-like ceremonies" not be permitted on military bases.  The reference to simulated marriages became necessary last fall when Under Secretary for Personnel & Readiness Clifford Stanley and General Counsel Jeh Johnson issued two memos authorizing same-sex “ceremonies” on military bases without calling them marriage. 

At the present time, rights of conscience are protected only for the minority of chaplains who support the mandates of LGBT law and related policies. Due to the discriminatory attitudes expressed by the Defense Department in the Working Group report on implementation of the repeal, legislative action is necessary to protect the religious liberty of military personnel and chaplains who have sincerely-held beliefs that differ from LGBT law. 

Justice Department Refuses Defense of the DOMA

The Defense of Marriage Act also requires reinforcement because of the Obama Administration's refusal to defend the law in court.  On the afternoon of Friday, February 17−well past media deadlines for the weekend−Attorney General Eric Holder sent a two-page letter informing Congress that the department will not defend the DOMA in litigation brought by same-sex military couples seeking equal marital benefits. 

The latest Holder letter is no less outrageous than the one he sent to Congress in January 2011, shortly after the repeal of Section 654, Title 10, USC.  The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) repeal bill affirmed promises regarding the DOMA that the Defense Department made in order to ram the repeal bill through the 2010 lame-duck session.  (It is likely that independent counsel already hired by Congress will defend the DOMA in this case as in others.)

The Center for Military Readiness has been working on this issue with several other organizations that are very concerned about discrimination against personnel and chaplains. Rep. Huelskamp is seeking more co-sponsors and Senate support for his legislation, HR 3828.  More information on the issue is provided here:

D.  Update: Military Culture Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey

In this article for the Breitbart website Big Peace, CMR President Elaine Donnelly reported on various responses and statements made by Republican presidential candidates on issues of concern to organizations affiliated with the Military Culture Coalition:

Just prior to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) early in February, eighteen leaders of the MCC requested a delegation meeting with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to discuss the six questions asked on the MCC 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey.  A Romney campaign advisor discussed issues with Donnelly on the phone, but provided no answers to five of six questions and issues raised on the MCC Survey.  (Gov. Romney has indicated that he would not have voted for the lame-duck repeal bill.  In an interview with an Iowa newspaper, however, Romney said he would not seek to revisit the issue.)

CMR, which is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates, has offered to provide assistance to all of the candidates seeking information on military/social issues. 

E.  CMR Activities

Under the current administration, doctrinaire activists and liberal political appointees are entrenched in positions of influence at the Pentagon.  This increases the importance of CMR, an independent voice that will continue providing support for military culture and core values.  To address the subject in terms that are meaningful to both civilian and military audiences, CMR has produced a new PowerPoint presentation explaining what is at stake, titled "Attitudes Are Not Free: Defending the Culture of the Military."

This presentation, which was well-received before two large audiences in southwest Florida in January 2012, is an educational tool that puts all issues in context.  The program explains how politicized "diversity" policies can undermine military values, and suggests solutions to lay the groundwork for administrative or legislative remedies for increasingly apparent problems.  CMR supports the troops by providing consistent, principled leadership in defense of the unique culture of our military.  

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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 Feb 26, 2012 Print this Article