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Posted on May 20, 2012 Print this Article

Issue 29: May 2012

This edition of CMR E-Notes presents information on four major topics, linked below, which are in the news right now.

 
A.    Congress Defends Marriage and Rights of Conscience in the Military

B.    Claims of "Success" for LGBT Law Premature At Best

C.    "Diversity" Drive for Women in Land Combat

D.    President Obama "Outs" Himself in Support of Same-Sex Marriage
 

CMR applauds recent congressional action to protect rights of religious liberty in the military.  At the same time, however, activists preparing for White House celebrations of LGBT Equality Month in June are stepping up their efforts to claim complete success for repeal of the 1993 law regarding homosexual conduct in the military, mislabeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  It is too soon to analyze the effects of LGBT law and related policies in the military as a whole, but early indicators of problems are reason for concern.  

Meanwhile, the Defense Department has announced incremental steps to implement deeply-flawed recommendations of the Military Diversity Leadership Commission (MLDC), which were announced at the Pentagon on February 9.  As a result, on April 23 Marine Commandant General James F. Amos announced a controversial "test" of female volunteers for the infantry officer course at Quantico, VA.   This short-term "test" is likely to create serious long-term problems for the Marines and all branches of the service.

As the 2012 election approaches, voters are beginning to understand and oppose efforts by President Barack Obama to solidify his political base.  All of the issues analyzed in this edition of CMR E-Notes demonstrate why the Commander-in-Chief should be held accountable for the consequences of social engineering in the military, which have only just begun. 

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.

« « « « «

A.  Congress Defends Marriage and Rights of Conscience in the Military

On May 9, 2012, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) approved two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage and protect rights of conscience and religious freedom for military chaplains and servicemembers. 

On a vote of 37-24, HASC members voted for an amendment sponsored by Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS), to ensure that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) applies in the military.  Rep. Palazzo and several allies pointed out that the DOMA law clearly defined marriage for federal purposes, and the Department of Defense should comply with the law and congressional intent.  

Following that vote, members voted 36-25 for an amendment sponsored by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), which would protect rights of conscience and religious freedom in the military.  In a news release, Rep. Akin criticized President Obama, who had just announced his new position on same-sex marriage, for using the military as a "campaign prop to advance the liberal agenda."  Akin added, "This liberal agenda has infiltrated our military, where servicemembers and chaplains are facing recrimination for their sincerely held moral and religious beliefs."

During the debate, Democratic critics conceded that rights of religious liberty are already in the U.S. Constitution, so they fell back on arguing that the amendment was "redundant."  Congressman Akin, however, cited examples of pressure on chaplains reported by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty (CALL). 

Rep. Akin also quoted from a persuasive letter submitted to the committee by Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.  Among other things, Archbishop Broglio expressed support for legislation to ensure that no restrictions would be placed on the teaching ability of any chaplain, whether in the pulpit, the classroom, in the field or barracks.  He also expressed the hope that moneys collected from each faith community not be used to further matters contrary to Catholic doctrine, including the advancement of same-sex unions.

Language in the Akin amendment makes it clear that rights of conscience apply to all military personnel and chaplains, whether they favor or oppose LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) law in the military. Military chaplains will continue to minister to all personnel regardless of personal conduct, as they always have.  The difference is that they will not be required to provide counseling proclaiming homosexual conduct to be moral and acceptable.  

More information about the Palazzo and Akin amendments, which reflected the original Military Religious Freedom Act (HR 3828) sponsored by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) earlier this year, is available in this article posted on CMR's website:

B.  Claims of "Success" for LGBT Law Premature At Best

From the standpoint of a small minority of LGBT personnel, repeal of the 1993 law that was always mislabeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) certainly is a "success."  It is too soon, however, to draw conclusions about the consequences of LGBT law and related policies that have yet to be felt in the military as a whole.

The poor economy will continue to mask potential recruiting and retention problems for years to come.  And the Pentagon has provided no procedures for military personnel to report problems (short of UCMJ violations) without fear of retribution and career penalties.  Indicators of disciplinary problems, however, seem to be developing. 

As described in the April CMR Policy Analysis titled "Chilling Trend of Sexual Assault in the Military," recent Army and Defense Department reports have revealed increasing rates of sexual assaults of both men and women in the military.  In addition, findings reported in the most recent annual Military Times Poll of active-duty subscribers reveal signs of tension. 

Scores of major issues remain unresolved, including family benefits for same-sex couples, privacy in close quarters, and gay pride celebrations that are starting to appear.  Since open dissent is not an option, independent reporting and analysis by the Center for Military Readiness will be more important than ever. 

The following article posted on CMR's website provides more information on this developing story:

C.  "Diversity" Drive for Women in Land Combat

Unlike the National Football League, which wouldn't dream of putting female players on teams that engage in non-lethal combat for reasons of "diversity," the U.S. Marine Corps has invited women to train for infantry battalions that engage in lethal ground combat.  The stated motive is not winning wars; it is "diversity" and "equal opportunities for women to excel." 

On April 23 Marine Commandant General James F. Amos issued a two-page  memorandum  announcing that a unspecified number of female officers will be invited to volunteer for training at the Marine infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Quantico, VA.  This test, to include enlisted volunteers later, will be done under an "exception" to extant Pentagon regulations exempting women from Army and Marine infantry, Special Operations Forces and Navy SEALs

The stated purpose of the three-month "qualitative research" test is to provide "analytical data" to inform the Commandant's subsequent recommendations regarding the assignment of women to Ground Combat Element (GCE) units.  This could include infantry battalions that attack the enemy with deliberate offensive action under fire, which remain all-male − for now.

As CMR stated in a news release, the Pentagon's new policy does the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.  Instead of putting the needs of the military first, the Defense Department is taking incremental steps to implement the deeply-flawed recommendations of the Military Diversity Leadership Commission (MDLC), which are about "diversity," not military effectiveness. 

Marine officials have promised that men and women will be treated the same in the training exercise. Previous tests have shown, however, that such a policy would result in debilitating injuries for female trainees.  Use of modifications to reduce injuries, such as female "assists" that already exist on the Quantico OCS obstacle course, would be inconsistent with the promise of equal treatment. 

The exercise appears to be just for show, creating optics and media spin to justify pre-determined "diversity" policies that the Defense Department announced on February 9.  The announced test is more serious than that, however, since it sets up a lose-lose situation that will likely do great harm to both female and male Marines and the culture of the Corps as a whole. 

More information is available here:

D.  President Obama "Outs" Himself in Support of Same-Sex Marriage

Anyone who believes that President Obama has not been in favor of same-sex marriage for many years has not been paying attention.  As stated by Bernard Goldberg in a column titled "Obama Has a Halo; Newsweek Has No Shame," "Barack Obama was for same sex marriage before he was against it. And he was against it before he was for it for the second time."

Obama claimed during his May 9 ABC News interview that he was expressing only a personal view.  On the contrary, Obama's administration has been relentlessly promoting the agenda of LGBT activists who demand that the Defense of Marriage Act be declared unconstitutional. These activists want to pocket their gains and push "Forward" (Obama's new campaign slogan) to adoption of even more items on the gay agenda.

It did not take long (about two heartbeats) for Obama to mention the next milestone − full marriage benefits for same-sex military couples.  This is a full reversal of promises that his administration made to Congress in order to get the repeal passed in the 2010 lame-duck session. 

President Obama's position puts him at odds with the voters of 31 states, including North Carolina, which have voted for measures to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. 

Obama also betrayed a solipsistic focus on himself by referring to military troops as "fighting on my behalf."  The Commander-in-Chief should be looking out for all the troops, not just the LGBT few. 

* * * * *

 The Center for Military Readiness is an independent public policy organization that specializes in military/social issues.  Nothing in this publication is intended to support or oppose legislation.

 

 

Posted on May 20, 2012 Print this Article