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Perkins: Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Risks Millions Of Lives "For The Sake Of The Minute Sexual Fringe"

May 26, 2010 3:28 pm ET by Matt Finkelstein

The Family Research Council is lashing out against a White House-backed compromise to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in this year's defense authorization bill.  Yesterday, FRC president Tony Perkins wrote the following in his "Washington Update":

By late Thursday night, Congress will have decided whether to throw away more than 200 years of military tradition--or to stand and fight against one of the most significant moral issues of our time. Late yesterday, President Obama met behind closed doors with the two men most capable of dealing a fatal blow to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT): Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Together, they agreed to the ultimate military betrayal: a repeal of the policy that protects our troops from serving with open homosexuals. Rather than wait on the Pentagon's analysis, President Obama and Democratic leaders are rushing to draft the military into their radical social agenda before voters storm the ballot boxes this November.

First of all, complaining that repealing DADT will "throw away more than 200 years of military tradition" is sort of like complaining that the Civil Rights Act discarded 200 years of tradition.  It's true that the military's ban on gays and lesbians is old, but that doesn't mean it should be cherished.  To the contrary, state-sponsored discrimination is morally wrong, and there's a compelling case that it's hurting the country.      

Perkins continued: 

Let's call this push what it is--a desperate attempt to force a controversial issue through Congress before Democrats lose their liberal working majority. What's worse, it's a political charade that insults our military and shows contempt for their families back home. To give the impression that they care about the process more than they do, liberals would pass a repeal this month but wait to lift the ban until the President, Adm. Mullen, and Gates--three of the repeal's biggest cheerleaders--agree that it wouldn't affect the three R's: recruitment, retention, and readiness. Essentially, the fate of national security would rest on a politician, a political appointee, and the only member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who believes in putting millions of people at risk for the sake of a minute sexual fringe. This is just another backroom deal--brought to you by the same leadership that delivered "compromises" on ObamaCare and taxpayer-funded abortion. This is yet another cultural time bomb, strapped on the backs of the men and women who honorably serve this country.

Perkins fails to explain how ending discrimination "insults our military," though he personally insults members of the military by implying that they're not professional enough to do their jobs alongside gays and lesbians. 

He also insults the highest-ranking officer in the military, who was appointed by President Bush, by suggesting that he "believes in putting millions of people at risk" to promote a political agenda.  (Sadly, referring to the "minute sexual fringe" is par for the course at FRC.)

But Perkins saves perhaps his worst for last.  By emphasizing the word honorably, Perkins clearly implies that others -- like the thousands of gays and lesbians already fighting to defend America -- do not serve with honor.  That's ugly, even for him.