The failure of her alarming predictions about the consequences of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to materialize hasn’t stopped Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness from railing against gay rights in the military, and now Donnelly is taking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to task for delivering an “entirely inappropriate” Gay Pride Month message to service members. Donnelly, who supports the ban on gays in the military, accused the LGBT community of trying to “make other people feel like they are not welcome” in an interview yesterday with Janet Parshall. She said that Panetta’s message was part of a ploy by “LGBT activist groups” to “intimidate other people,” and Parshall lamented that she’s “never heard of a Heterosexual Month and they make up ninety-seven percent of the military.”
Parshall: We’ve got Leon Panetta, ‘June is called Gay Pride Month,’ and Leon Panetta in the Department of Defense is heralding gays in the military. Wow, I really would love to look into a crystal ball and see what we’re going to have in terms of numbers going down the road.
Donnelly: This is entirely inappropriate because the Secretary of Defense is treating a tiny minority of people in the military who are now allowed to be open, even though previously they were not even eligible to be in the armed forces, to have an event like this, which we predicted by the way. We predicted this a long time ago; this is a manifestation of LGBT law in the military. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender policies and celebrations in the armed forces, this is all part of it.
Parshall: Leon Panetta celebrating in so-called Gay Pride Month that which makes up less than three percent, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never heard of a Heterosexual Month and they make up ninety-seven percent of the military.
Donnelly: Right. What happened to the notion, ‘we just want to serve in the military, we just want to be quiet and modest and discreet, just like everyone else’? What happened to that? Well of course that was all phony because the LGBT activist groups know exactly how to intimidate other people, make other people feel they are not welcome, their views are not welcome, and name calling occurs quite a bit. That’s pretty much part of the pattern and it’s one of the reasons why the 1993 law regarding gays in the military should have been retained.
On Meet the Press yesterday, David Gregory questioned GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum about the social issues – opposition to reproductive choice and gay rights – on which he has built his career. Stunningly, Santorum denied that he has focused on social issues and claimed, “There’s no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.”
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: It's so funny. I get the question all the time. Why are you talking so much about these social issues, as they, as, as people ask about me about the social issues. MR. GREGORY: Senator, no, wait a minute.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Look, the... MR. GREGORY: You talk about this stuff every week. And by the way, it's not just in this campaign. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: No, I talk about, I talk... MR. GREGORY: Sir, in this campaign you talk about it. And I've gone back years when you've been in public life and you have made this a centerpiece of your public life. So the notion that these are not deeply held views worthy of question and scrutiny, it's not just about the press. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, they, they are deeply held views, but they're not what I dominantly talk about, David. You're taking things that over a course of a 20-year career and pulling out quotes from difference speeches on, on issues that are fairly tangential, not what people care about mostly in America, and saying, "Oh, he wants to impose those values." Look at my record. I've never wanted to impose any of the things that you've just talked about. These are, these are my personal held religious beliefs, and in many forums that I, that, that are, in fact, religious, because I do speak in front of church groups and I do speak in these areas, I do talk about them. But there's no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.
This is, of course, a bunch of baloney. While Santorum has spent a lot of time in his presidential campaign talking up regressive tax policies, irresponsible deregulation and anti-environmentalism, the core of his brand has always been social conservatism. His campaign has consistently and explicitly distinguished his anti-choice, anti-gay record with Mitt Romney’s in order to successfully appeal to culture-warring voters.
Santorum has also never shied away from wanting to “impose” his far-right values on the rest of the country. In a 2005 interview with NPR, for instance, he railed against the libertarian wing of the Republican party, saying, “They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulation low and that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”
Santorum’s interview on Meet the Press is far from the first time he’s claimed that he’s not overly interested in social issues. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch found a speech he gave in 2008 in which he claimed that it’s liberals who have made sex an issue on the campaign trail. For liberals, he said, politics “comes down to sex” and that the Democratic Party has become “the party of Woodstock.”:
And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.
It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.
Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.
All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.
In a step forward for equality for all Americans, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of California ruled yesterday that the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy violates servicemembers' Fifth Amendment due process rights and their First Amendment speech rights.
The Senate Armed Services Committee today announced that it would hold hearings on Don't Ask Don't Tell in the fall of this year. Michael B. Keegan said, "Our nation needs a strong national defense, and repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell would allow more qualified men and women to serve honestly and openly in our armed forces. Americans overwhelmingly support the repeal of DADT, and it's long past time to stop mistreating our courageous military personnel. "
Today, PFAW President Michael B. Keegan issued an open letter to President Obama urging him to use his influence to advance the cause of LGBT equality and make good on his promises to help end discriminatory policies such as DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell.