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Posted on Oct 7, 2010 Print this Article

Senate Rejects Repeal of Law on Gays in the Military

Last month's vote in the United States Senate frustrated, for now, unremitting efforts of liberals and their LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) allies to impose a radical social experiment on the U. S. military. That men and women whose one and only priority rightly should be defense of the nation find themselves under such an assault should be an outrage, but unfortunately, most media have treated the issue as an afterthought.

Immediately after this year's State of the Union speech by President Obama in January, determined activists launched a relentless lobbying and media campaign, while the Obama Administration crafted a misleading "Repeal Deal" to overcome opposition in the House Armed Services Committee. In May the full House and the Senate Armed Services Committee disregarded the military service chiefs, rushing to repeal the 1993 law with "delayed implementation." Most media discussed repeal in fait accompli terms.

On September 21, 2010, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and 41 other national-security minded colleagues proved that conventional wisdom wrong. The Military Culture Coalition, the Flag & General Officers for the Military, and the Center for Military Readiness, applaud and congratulate these champions of the military for their principled stand against the triple threat that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had embedded in the 2011 National Defense Authorization bill. Senator McCain successfully led a bipartisan vote to block a defense bill that would have repealed the current law making homosexuals ineligible for military service. A complete victory can only be assured, however, by stopping the back-door efforts of liberals to erode and eventually eliminate the law.

Following President Obama's State of the Union declaration that he intended to work with Congress to repeal the law, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen appeared before the Senate and outlined a plan to achieve the president's goal. Gates set up a "Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG)" to assess and study the impact on the military of repeal of the law. However, this review has not asked the obviously logical question of whether or not the law should be repealed; it has only examined how. By framing the review in this way, the Pentagon effectively barred servicemembers from expressing support for the law. What they didn't count on was Congress' rejection of the law's repeal through this transparently rigged process.

But despite last month's legislative defeat, the CRWG still has a mandate from Secretary Gates to report its findings on Dec. 1, even though the Senate has rejected what the review de facto contemplates: repeal of the law. Given its flawed objective in light of last week's vote, the CRWG's report should be taken with substantial skepticism.

Senator McCain has now come out swinging against this misguided venture. In his capacity as Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he wrote Secretary Gates on September 28, calling for a re-examination of the Obama Administration's entire approach to this issue. In his letter, Senator McCain notes that DoD surveys that were supposed to "engage" the troops were skewed by the mistaken presumption that Congress would vote to repeal the 1993 law.

CMR has also received numerous reports that active-duty focus group participants were told that the only question of interest was how to implement repeal of the law-not if the law should be repealed. The Washington Times reported in an editorial just prior to the Senate vote, a case involving a CRWG participant and deputy chief of Army personnel, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Drawing upon its own sources, the Times quoted the general speaking "before several hundred troops at the European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany: 'Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them,' Lt. Gen. Bostick said. But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can't, they need to get out. No matter how much training and education of those in opposition, you're always going to have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like you still have racists today.'" In a follow-up editorial, the Times cited two confirming sources, a civilian whose account was published in the paper as a letter to the editor, and a report on the general's remarks received by U. S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). CMR remains concerned that regardless of what troops may actually be expressing, the administration will spin the Pentagon report as a call for repeal of the 1993 law.

Last week the Military Culture Coalition sent to the CRWG a lengthy list of issues that should be addressed by the panel’s report that is due on December 1. This presentation, following up an initial meeting with the working group in March, demolishes the notion that implementation of a new LGBT law or policy for the military would be "easy" or desirable in terms of military necessity.

This latest presentation to the CRWG included an expanded selection of easily-accessible policy analyses, reports, and articles that highlight many controversies that troops in the field apparently were not encouraged or allowed to discuss for the record. These documents, which CMR will make available to the public, will provide the public a better understanding of the most difficult issues, which LGBT activists want to ignore.

By slowing the headlong race to approve legislation in the defense authorization bill to repeal Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., Senator McCain, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and their colleagues have created an opportunity for a more responsible and thorough consideration of this important issue. Together with the many groups working with the Military Culture Coalition, CMR will continue to work against any lame-duck Congress or Obama Administration efforts to attempt repeal again or further weaken the current law.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 Print this Article