Senator Seeking Republican Co-Sponsor
A front-page Boston Globe article by Bryan Bender, titled "Obama Seeks Assessment on Gays in Military," reports the news that Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is going to sponsor a bill to repeal the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. This is significant, since there has been no Senate bill in the past. There is one condition--Kennedy is looking for a Republican to co-sponsor to provide political cover. According to the CNSNews, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin also wants to vote for a bill repealing the 1993 law during the coming year.
1. The Obama White House
Within minutes of the Inauguration, the White House website posted this:
Support for the LGBT Community
"Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
1. Military Times Poll Setback for Gay Rights Activists
The year 2009 brought an unexpected setback to gay activists who are determined to repeal the 1993 law making homosexuals ineligible for military service. In an article for National Review Online titled Military Times Poll: Troops Oppose Gay Agenda for the Military, CMR President Elaine Donnelly analyzed strong opposition to repeal of the law among the current active-duty forces.
Sound advice from Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy in his December 30, 2008 column for the Washington Times. President-elect Obama would do well to heed it.
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Interested readers, including members of the military, are invited to comment through the "Confidential Contact" site on this website, www.cmrlink.org. Nothing in the CMR SITREP Blog is intended to aid or hinder elections or the passage of legislation before Congress.
The December 15, 2008, cover story of Army Times finally reports on the alarming rise in courts-martial for sexual misconduct by drill sergeants at Fort Leonard Wood, a gender-integrated Army basic training base in Missouri. CMR highlighted the original report on this story by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last month here.
Army Times quotes several officials at Fort Leonard Wood who seem resigned to a high school atmosphere in basic training. They seem to believe that the situation cannot be improved, and it does not have consequences.
An article in the November 23, 2008 St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes an alarming rise in instances of sexual misconduct at Fort Leonard Wood, a gender-integrated Army training installation in Missouri. The report by Philip O'Connor, titled "New Sex Scandals at Fort Leonard Wood," notes that "at least 14 drill sergeants or other trainers have faced courts-martial for having improper relationships with Soldiers undergoing initial-entry training at the [base]."
In a July 20, 2008 American Thinker article titled "Obama's Civilian National Security Force," Lee Cary described the elaborate plans of Barack Obama to transform America "into one, giant, community organizer's sandbox at enormous cost to taxpayers."
Mr. Cary, who has personal experience in volunteer community organizing, noted the expansiveness of Obama's "Plan for Universal Voluntary Public Service." Starting on page 59, in small print, the plan amounts to mandated, universal volunteerism-a contradiction in terms. The ultimate purpose is to convert Americans' current volunteer spirit and efforts into what Cary described as "cogs in a gigantic government machine grinding out [Obama's] social re-engineering agenda."
As we noted in an October 16 SITREP article titled "DoD Must Not Tolerate Disenfranchisement of Troops," we need to guarantee to our men and women in uniform the opportunity to cast their vote and to have it counted. CMR applauds the action of Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, who issued an October 27 opinion defending the rights of military voters.
McDonnell's opinion overruled a decision of the Fairfax County, Virginia, registrar who had claimed that state law required the disqualification of absentee ballots that did not display the signature of a witness. AG McDonnell's opinion found that federal law governing overseas military voting took precedence over the state law cited by the registrar. Federal law does not require a witness for military absentee ballots. The Virginia State Board of Elections subsequently advised the local elections officials to abide by McDonnell's opinion.
The UK Telegraph reported on October 12 that the chief of the British Army's General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, "made history" by addressing the Army-sponsored Fourth Joint Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Matters. The Telegraph quotes General Dannatt, who is described as a Christian, saying that his "Equality and Diversity Directive for the Army sets the standard that we must live by, and, importantly, it communicates that standard to everyone in the chain of command."
General Dannatt's Directive mandates "respect for gays, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-sexual officers and soldiers," as a "command responsibility" that is vital for "operational readiness." To demonstrate "tolerance," the UK Ministry of Defense also hosts an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Forum on its website.
This OneNewsNow.com article titled "Complicated process deters soldiers, dependents from voting" quotes John Fund, Wall Street Journal columnist and author of the recent book, Stealing Elections. Fund expressed concern that the ability of deployed troops and sailors to vote will be compromised "because of bureaucratic red tape."
An October 15 report from a court in Groningen, The Netherlands, illustrates the elevated risk that open homosexuality would pose to our servicemen and women. According to Breitbart.com, several gay men who attended "sex orgies" in that country told a judge that a "three-member gay gang" tried to deliberately infect them with the AIDS virus.
CNSNews.com reports that two homosexual advocacy groups are criticizing the decision of President George W. Bush to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired Marine General Peter Pace , who served a single term as Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. It is their reaction, however, which takes intolerance to an extreme.
Let's see if we have this right. A distinguished Marine, General Peter Pace, stated in a 2007 interview that he was personally opposed to what he sees as immorality in sexual matters. When was the last time we heard a public figure say something like that? Controversy ensued, causing the general to forego another term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. But now President George W. Bush has chosen to recognize the service and character of General Pace by bestowing on him a special award, the Medal of Freedom.