COMMENT: It is about military readiness and effectiveness, not "civil rights'. There is no constitutional right to serve in the military and the military is no place for social experimentation. Opporutnity for military service is limited in a number of ways. Many groups of people who are patriotic are not eligible to serve in uniform, but everyone can serve our country in some way.
Making these changes could result in resistance in the ranks, hurt morale, damage trust and unit cohesion, affect recruitment and one study showed it would impact re-enlistments. More than 1,160 retired Flag & General Officers for the Military have personally signed a statement supporting the 1993 law, and expressing concerns about consequences of repeal that would “break the All-Volunteer Force.”
1. DoD Plan Would Violate 1993 Eligibility Law and Demoralize Troops
2. Iraq Veteran Leads 'Don't Ask' Push
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Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, issued a statement.
[Elaine is a personal friend and has been working in this field for many years.]
1. DoD Plan Would Violate 1993 Eligibility Law and Demoralize Troops
In response to a plan that an AP report said would be presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee today by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, issued the following statement:
“The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should not compromise principle by proposing an unworkable plan to undermine the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military (Section 654, Title 10). The testimony that Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen are expected to deliver suggests an irresponsible plan that would incrementally eviscerate the law by unilaterally suspending its enforcement for specious reasons.
“Such a plan would create an incentive for “third parties” to guarantee retention of gay partners in the military simply by identifying their partner as gay. Homosexuals would become a protected class under standards different from everyone else. This would constitute a clear violation of the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible for military service, and establish a double standard that, in the name of ‘consistency,’ weakens discipline across the board.
“Finding #9 in the law could not be more clear: ‘The standards of conduct for members of the armed forces regulate a member's life for 24 hours each day beginning at the moment the member enters military status and not ending until that person is discharged or otherwise separated from the armed forces.’ Finding #10 reads, ‘Those standards of conduct, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, apply to a member of the armed forces at all times that the member has a military status, whether the member is on base or off base, and whether the member is on duty or off duty.’
Furthermore, Finding #13 clearly asserts: ‘The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a long-standing element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service.” There is nothing in the actual law that authorizes the institutional dishonesty inherent in Secretary Gates’ and Adm. Mullen’s reported plan to establish a double standard for homosexuals who are not eligible to serve in the military.”
Donnelly continued, “The Secretary of Defense does not get to choose which laws he will enforce and which ones he will not. Nor does he have the power to issue regulations that contradict the law, creating confusion and demoralizing the troops in order to help President Obama deliver on a political promise.”
“If the Defense Department excuses the behavior of personnel who show poor judgment by engaging in homosexual conduct revealed by others, there will be more misconduct, not less. This is a plan for officially condoned indiscipline, in violation of the clear language and intent of the law.”
This article provides background on the genesis of Secretary Gates peculiar comment about more “humane” ways to enforce the 1993 law:
Defining Discipline Down
The idea of finding a more “humane” way to enforce “DADT” began when Air Force Lt. Victor Fehrenbach was “outed” by a “third party,” who turned out to be a young man that Fehrenbach had solicited for sexual activity on a gay website. The two shared a hot tub, but the younger man accused Fehrenbach of sexual assault in a late-night call to the police. Fehrenbach cleared himself of the charge—the encounter was consensual—but the process revealed that he was a homosexual and therefore not eligible to be in the service. (Fehrenbach has allowed himself to be described as an F-15 pilot, but he is actually a weapons systems officer or WSO.)
Fehrenbach told only part of his story on national television, to the applause of gay activist groups pushing for repeal of the 1993 law. He was also a guest at the White House during President Obama’s June 2009 “LGBT Equality” month promoting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered cause. Although Secretary Gates did not mention Fehrenbach by name at the time he was in the news, the aviator’s carefully air-brushed personal story apparently led to the “more humane” comment from Gates.
Shortly thereafter, the Idaho Statesman published a detailed report that told the rest of the story. CMR requested a copy of the police report and quoted it in the article above.
In most cases, homosexuals reveal themselves to be gay, and they are honorably discharged. If credible information comes to the attention of military authorities, and there are no unusual circumstances that rebut the reasonable “presumption” of homosexual conduct, the person in question is subject to discharge, usually honorable. Anyone who engages in homosexual conduct is, by definition, not eligible to be in the armed forces.
President Obama is promoting a new “LGBT Law” for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders in the armed forces. A bill co-sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and more than 180 others, H.R. 1283, would forbid discrimination based on “homosexuality or bisexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived.” If passed, the law would be retroactive—allowing re-entry and restored promotions for anyone previously discharged. The LGBT Law would apply to all units, including infantry battalions, Special Operations Forces, Navy SEALS and submarines, on a 24/7 basis.
As stated in the statute itself, “There is no constitutional right to serve in the military.” Many groups of people who are patriotic are not eligible to serve in uniform, but everyone can serve our country in some way.
There is no way that a Pentagon panel of any size can come up with a plan to make the LGBT agenda work with no negative effects on recruiting and retention, morale, and readiness in the military. CMR has prepared charts illustrating just how radical the new LGBT Law for the Military would be:
Consequences of the Proposed New “LGBT Law” for the Military
More than 1,160 retired Flag & General Officers for the Military have personally signed a statement supporting the 1993 law, and expressing concerns about consequences of repeal that would “break the All-Volunteer Force.”
Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, will be in Washington, D.C. and available for interviews.
HR 1283 has 187 sponsors including Steve Cohen from Memphis.
2. Iraq Veteran Leads 'Don't Ask' Push
The Obama administration's staunchest ally in the uphill fight to allow gays to openly serve in the nation's military is a little-known Democratic congressman named Patrick Murphy, an Iraq war veteran who has written the only legislation that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" restrictions.
Mr. Murphy, a two-term Democrat from Pennsylvania, served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division and was the first Iraq veteran elected to Congress. His bill has 187 co-sponsors, leaving it just 31 votes short of the 218 needed to ensure passage.
"The momentum is clearly on our side," he said in an interview. "It's time for Congress to have the guts to stop turning its back on talented and professional soldiers just because they're gay."
With Defense Secretary Robert Gates heading to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lay out the Pentagon's preparations for a possible repeal of the 16-year-old ban, the long-dormant political battle over the "don't ask, don't tell" provisions is heating up.
But it is far from clear that enough Democrats from moderate or conservative states will want to risk casting a politically sensitive vote in favor of repealing the ban.
Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, opposes repealing the ban and has said his full committee won't hold a hearing on Rep. Murphy's bill, complicating its path to a vote.
Mr. Skelton's Senate counterpart, Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, supports eliminating the ban, but some lawmakers have said they are waiting to hear the Pentagon's full recommendations before introducing a bill. Such a step could be months away.
Mr. Gates's appearance Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will mark the first time that senior Pentagon officials lay out their thinking for how the ban could be repealed.
Defense officials and congressional aides said that Mr. Gates and Adm. Mullen would announce an internal Pentagon review into the thorny legal and logistical questions that would need to be confronted if Congress repealed the ban, including whether the military would extend marriage and bereavement benefits to the partners of gay service members.
Mr. Gates has made clear in the past that he thinks Congress should move slowly on the issue and give the Defense Department adequate time to prepare for the changes.
Some of the Pentagon's top military officers also oppose lifting the restrictions, at least in the short term.
A senior military official said that Gen. George Casey, the chief of staff of the Army, believes the ban shouldn't be lifted until the U.S. completes its withdrawal from Iraq.
A second member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway, also believes eliminating the "don't ask, don't tell" provisions would harm military readiness, according to military officials familiar with his thinking.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, an advocacy group that favors the ban, echoed the concerns of many Republicans, saying that allowing gays to serve openly would threaten the military's ability to recruit and retain talented soldiers.
"Nothing can or should be done that could harm military readiness in wartime," she said. Read more here.