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Posted on Sep 7, 2004 Print this Article

CMR ANALYZES CANDIDATES’ VIEWS ON GAYS IN THE MILITARY

The Center for Military Readiness is encouraging voters to evaluate the views of the major presidential candidates on all matters of national defense, including social issues such as homosexuals in the military. In particular, CMR has released a new article discussing the actions and inactions of Republican candidate President George W. Bushwith regard to the 1993 law banning homosexuals from the military.

CMR also has analyzed the record of Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA), who voted against legislation to ban homosexuals from the military on September 9, 1993. CMR President Elaine Donnelly commented that “Sen. Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) revealed an elitist and sometimes disdainful attitude toward anyone disagreeing with his views.”The legislation ultimately passed with bi-partisan, veto-proof majorities in the Senate (63-33) and in the House (264-169).

CMR is drawing attention to several colloquies with then-SASC Chairman Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA), who questioned and challenged Kerry on specific consequences of his position. Commented Donnelly, “Sen. Kerry’s statements and responses demonstrated a willingness to stake out a doctrinaire position, followed by misleading equivocation.”With several references to his service in Vietnam, Kerry defended the constitutional right of homosexuals to serve in the military, and asserted that:

  • Public displays of affection and social activities comparable to those considered appropriate for heterosexual couples should be considered acceptable for homosexuals.
  • Conduct that might be considered offensive to others, such as explicit sexual activity in public, would still be prohibited, but private sexual activity would not be subject to question or dismissal for revealing homosexual “status.” (Chairman Nunn noted that Kerry’s suggestion conflicts with current military regulations.)
  • When confronted with the fact that he was essentially recommending radical change in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which forbids sodomy and other types of personal misconduct in the military, Kerry countered that changes in such laws would not be necessary because they are not enforced anyway. (Chairman Nunn strongly disagreed.)
  • Persons who oppose the gay agenda for the military are demanding a “license to hate.” (No other Senate advocate used language as strident as Kerry’s)
  • The personal feelings of soldiers who are not comfortable with open homosexuality in the military are basically a sign of insecurity and an exaggerated sense of their own sexual attractiveness.
  • Military trainers and unit commanders will have to teach personnel to overcome such feelings, even if they are rooted in religious values learned at home.
  • If an openly homosexual officer had taken command of Kerry’s own Navy swift boat crew during the Vietnam War, he probably would have been “fragged” by his own men.
  • It may be necessary to have certain exemptions, but only for small combat units such as Navy SEAL commandos who come into close physical contact on a regular basis. (This was an inconsistent and unworkable suggestion.)
  • The close quarters occupied by three submariners sharing the same bunk on a rotating basis are essentially no different than routine associations in the civilian work force.
  • “Status” is different than “conduct.” (Sen. Nunn disputed the distinction, since a person does not have homosexual “status” unless he or she engages in the conduct that defines the status.)

CMR’s analysis of excerpts of Sen. Kerry’s May 7, 1993, testimony, and the full text of Sen. Kerry’s testimony, appear elsewhere on this website under Issues/Gays in the Military.

CMR President Elaine Donnelly noted with approval that the 2004 Republican National Platform affirmed the principle--codified by Congress in 1993--that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” She added, however, that the Bush Administration has needlessly confused the issue by retaining Clinton-era enforcement regulations, known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which are inconsistent with the law that Congress actually passed. The administration’s position is analyzed elsewhere on this website under Issues/Gays in the Military.

The 2004 Democratic National Platform, which declares that “all patriotic Americans should be allowed to serve our country” appears in a paragraph addressing civil rights, not national defense. The Kerry/Edwards website calls for an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Bill Clinton’s convoluted enforcement regulations that are frequently confused with the 1993 law. Note:Both sides in the debate oppose “don’t ask, don’t tell” for entirely different reasons.

In a January 27, 1993, floor speech, Sen. Kerry defined homosexuals in the military as an issue essential to “win respect as a nation.” CMR President Elaine Donnelly challenged Kerry’s priorities, and said that “Military personnel policies should not be rooted in the arrogant manifestos of naïve civilians and social engineers who want to take liberalism to an extreme. Voters need to consider the views of both candidates before they choose the next Commander in Chief.” --END 

The two articles posted elsewhere on this website highlight the positions of both major candidates on this issue.  (See September 7, 2004 postings on CMR's Home Page.)

The Center for Military Readiness is an indepoendent, non-partisan public-policy organization that specilalizes in military personnel issues. 

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Posted on Sep 7, 2004 Print this Article