Yesterday, AFA's Buster Wilson lamented the news there has been a rise in suicides this year among members of the Armed Services and wondered if maybe, just maybe, the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell might have had something to do with it:
While Congress debated the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council predicted that the military will see an uptick in sexual assault cases and a decline in enlistment, leading to the reinstatement of the draft. Perkins even said that congressional leaders who pushed the policy’s repeal have the “blood of young Marines on their hands.”
However, the FRC’s inflammatory warnings about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell have not been realized.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey on May 10 reported no negative impacts:
The repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" – lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the US armed forces – is "going very well" so far, having no impact on troop morale, unit cohesion, or readiness, top Pentagon officials said Thursday.
Those are the findings of a new, as-yet-unreleased Pentagon report that assesses the first months under the new policy, said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. He attributed the repeal's smooth sailing to a roughly year-long study the US military conducted before making the change.
“I have not found any negative effect on good order and discipline,” concurred Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a joint Pentagon briefing with Mr. Panetta.
A Pentagon spokesman called the impact of repeal “negligible, if that”:
After several months, the impact, according to the military, was summed up by Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby: "Impact?" he said. "Negligible, if that."
Across the military, retention is high. Recruitment is at 100 percent of goals. Military officials say they're unaware of any discipline issues relating to gays serving openly.
And a survey this month conducted by the Marine Times found that 73% said there was “no impact” of a fellow Marine coming out.
But Perkins said that all of these findings are meaningless, telling Sandy Rios of the American Family Association on Friday that the supposedly destructive impact of the repeal won’t be felt until ten years from now:
Rios: You know just yesterday Colin Powell came out in favor of gay marriage—Colin Powell!—and this whole business of gays in the military I personally feel there was hardly any pushback here in Washington from conservative leaders; it was just almost like a yawn. So what is that state? I’m sure you are talking to military leaders, what is happening in the military as a result of that from your perspective?
Perkins: It’s interesting yesterday I was interviewed by a Voice of America reporter who obviously had a perspective on this that was different than mine and said ‘we heard all of this talk about this was going to be horrible for the military and the military was going to be decimated by this, and here we are 12 months later and we haven’t seen the military fall apart yet,’ and I said, excuse me, but adopting a policy and changing a policy of this nature, you don’t see the total effect of a 12 month period. Now, let’s talk in about, 10 years.
On Thursday, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, in an effort to drum up support for his Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. Huelskamp’s bill purportedly prevents “discrimination” against members of the military based on their beliefs on “human sexuality,” while also banning the use of military property for any same-sex “marriage or marriage-like ceremony.” Discussing the bill, the congressman accused President Obama of launching a “shocking violation of religious liberty” as part of his “administration’s push for the radical homosexual agenda”:
Huelskamp: We have forty-seven cosponsors in the House including some leading members of the Armed Services Committee and we’re having a lot of great support also as well. We continue to hear, and this is the scariest thing, we hear from chaplains all across the country and even military bases elsewhere around the world that the administration’s push for the radical homosexual agenda goes all the way down to having to get approval for their sermon notes, having to have man’s approval for things they’re going to preach, I mean the idea that we’re going to not allow chaplains to disagree with the President of the United States and his administration is a shocking violation of religious liberty.
Later in the interview, Rep. Huelskamp claimed that “radical secularism” is working with the “radical homosexual movement” to suppress religious freedom:
Huelskamp: It’s an issue of whether or not chaplains can actually preach the Gospel and that men and women can actually live the Gospel. I think you have this radical secularism and you put it together with the radical homosexual movement and say ‘hey, if you have those beliefs that’s fine but you can talk about it for an hour on Sunday, maybe, and after that just keep quiet for the other hundred and some hours a week.’ The idea that chaplains would not be able to preach certain parts of the Gospel and say, ‘you know what this is the way we interpret it and this is what it means,’ and those are being shut down.
After linking the Secret Service prostitution scandal to the end of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is doubling down on his anti-gay attacks by now launching a tirade against a student club at Norwich University in Vermont for organizing a Pride Week. A group of LGBT students and straight allies is planning to host “seminars on bullying, safe sex and HIV testing and discussions with veterans” along with a queer prom that will include speeches from Gov. Peter Shumlin and US Army Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan. Student organizer Joshua Fontanez said that the week is meant to help create “a community here who will embrace you and love you and support you” in an interview with WCAX, whose news van was tagged with the word “Fags” while parked on campus.
Perkins, however, claimed in a radio message today that the Pride Week was all about the desire to throw a “party” for “a community that thinks promiscuity is something to celebrate.” Perkins also said that the Obama administration is “banning Christian speakers at military academies,” presumably referring to Jerry Boykin who decided to withdraw from a speaking engagement at West Point after his extremist anti-Muslim statements came to light.
Perkins: When students at Norwich University crowed their prom queen, something was missing. That something was a girl. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. America's oldest private military academy says it prides itself on being unconventional--and last month's "gay prom" proved it. School officials said they wanted to have an "open dialogue" on homosexuality--but what they really had was a party. Unfortunately, this is America's new military. When the President wanted to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he didn't talk about flying rainbow flags at Afghan bases or asking chaplains to perform gay "weddings." He didn't mention banning Christian speakers at military academies, tearing down crosses at Camp Pendleton, or pulling Scripture out of Army curriculum. What he said was it's time to let homosexuals be true to who they are. And who they are is a community that thinks promiscuity is something to celebrate. Norwich's "free love dance" and "condom Olympics" aren't tolerance. They're deviance. And a school of young, strong cadets deserve better.
Yesterday Janet Mefferd hosted Family Research Council president Tony Perkins where they spent most of the time lamenting the inevitable nomination of Mitt Romney, as Mefferd was troubled by Romney’s past (but since renounced) support of gay rights. But the two agreed that Obama’s advocacy for equal rights for gays and lesbians is far more disconcerting and Perkins even tied last year’s repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to the scandal involving Secret Service agents who solicited prostitutes in Colombia. While prostitution is legal in the country, their use of prostitutes had the potential to compromise the President’s security. Perkins claimed that since the President has been “enforcing open homosexuality in our military” then he should not have been “upset” about the prostitution scandal, maintaining that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s repeal led to “a total breakdown” in “moral order”:
Mefferd: You know one issue that I think has not gotten as much attention as it deserves to get is the homosexuality issue. A lot of people have talked about Mitt Romney and what he did with the gay marriage issue and so forth in Massachusetts, but even Politico and the New York Times have talked a lot about the increasing number of top Republicans who are donating to pro-gay causes, the extent to which the GOP doesn’t want to fight on this issue anymore. But we as Christians can’t stand stop fighting on this issue, Tony, so what do we do when we’re faced with a race where maybe we feel like the candidates are way too similar on this and both of them are wrong?
Perkins: Yeah, you know that’s a great point. Just for a moment step back and look at the implications of this, over the weekend we saw the news of the President’s Secret Service detail in Colombia and the issue of them hiring prostitutes and now the White House is outraged about that. Actually in a meeting this morning my staff asked, ‘why should the President be upset’? It was actually legal; it was legal there to do that, so why should we be upset? Well, the fact is we intuitively know it’s wrong, there’s a moral law against that.
The same is true for what the President has done to the military enforcing open homosexuality in our military. You can change the law but you can’t change the moral law that’s behind it. You can change the positive law, the law that is created by man, but you can’t change the moral law, it’s wrong. So what you have is you have a total breakdown and you can’t pick and choose. Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want. I think you’re absolutely right, this is a fundamental issue going forward because if we say ‘let them do what we want,’ what’s next? You cannot maintain moral order if you are willing to allow a few things to slide.
While sitting down with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council at the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, Rick Santorum doubled down on his commitment to bring back the discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Perkins, a staunch opponent of Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal, said the Obama administration "has systematically used this military for social experimentation" by "overturning the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and forcing open homosexuality on the military," asking Santorum if he would "reverse" the repeal. Santorum said the repeal was "not in the best interest of our men and women in uniform" and pledged to restore Don't Ask Don't Tell, but added, "that doesn't mean that people who are gays and lesbians can't serve."