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Posted on Dec 8, 2009 Print this Article

Hastings Bill Would Override Gays-in-Military Law

     Rep. Alcee Hastings, who is not a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), is sponsoring legislation that would harm the military and detract from planned hearings on the issue of gays in the military.  The Hastings bill (H.R. 4180) would effectively suspend enforcement of Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C, which is usually mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).   

     Hastings and 30 colleagues (only two of whom serve on the HASC) want to require the military to retain servicemembers who are homosexual, bisexual or transgendered, if they testify (or communicate with Congress) on legislation to repeal the 1993 Eligibility Law. 

     CMR has prepared a Policy Analysis explaining why this ill-advised attempt to commandeer hearings on gays in the military should not be given serious consideration:

Hastings Bill to Invite Testimony from Ineligible Servicemembers Would Override the 1993 Law re Homosexuals in the Military

     Congress passed the 1993 Eligibility Law with bipartisan, veto-proof majorities, and it has been upheld as constitutional several times.  The statute enjoys widespread support among members of the armed forces.  The Hastings legislation is a back-door attempt to repeal the statute incrementally.   

     The Hastings bill also purports to “protect” servicemembers who support current law.  This is a false promise, since the President’s own statements and expectations already have discouraged candid testimony and thereby interfered with the hearing process.  

     Rep. Hastings’ ill-advised legislation is a sign of desperation as well as frustration with failure to make a convincing case for Rep. Patrick Murphy’s proposed new “LGBT Law” for the military (H.R. 1283).  More information on problems with this legislation is provided on the website of the Flag & General Officers for the Military.


Posted on Dec 8, 2009 Print this Article