Anti-Gay Wash. Times Columnist Pretends DADT Hearings Are Going Well
April 06, 2011 3:12 pm ET by Carlos Maza
In an April 6 Washington Times op-ed, Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries rehashed a number of falsehoods about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) while attempting to describe last week’s House subcommittee hearing as a victory for anti-repeal Republicans.
According to Knight, last Friday’s House Armed Services subcommittee on the implementation of DADT’s repeal was a slam dunk for Republicans:
To come right to the point, I’m going to summarize in a voice adapted from a Tom Clancy novel:
“Here’s the skinny. Two Pentagon pukes showed up and dodged every important question about whether it’s a good idea to have open homosexuality in the armed forces. Republican reps nailed them several times, but didn’t go in for the kill. However, they landed heavy ordnance and got plenty on the record to show how stupid, immoral and (expletive) reckless this is.”
This is, to say the least, an interesting interpretation of the hearing. As we pointed out last week, Republicans tried and failed, on several occasions, to substantiate a number of overblown criticisms of repeal during the hearing.
In his piece, Knight attempted to revive concerns about gay and lesbian soldiers preying on their straight peers in the shower after DADT is repealed:
Ms. Hartzler asked why, if the military won’t put men and women together in barracks and showers, would we force them into intimate conditions with those who may be sexually attracted to them? “Sexual orientation,” after all, is really sexual attraction.
Adm. Gortney responded that the two sexes differ by “gender,” while sexual orientation is “personal and private.” Really? It was already “personal and private” under the law and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The whole purpose of the LGBT law is to make volitional homosexual behavior public, not private.
As Vice Admiral William E. Gortney testified during the hearing, however, rather than discouraging “homosexual behavior in public,” DADT was disproportionately targeting soldiers who had never violated any standard of conduct but had simply disclosed their sexual orientation
Knight also defended the right of soldiers to disrespect their commanders for being gay while also conflating homosexuality with cross-dressing:
“We’re not asking anyone to change their beliefs, just treat everyone with respect,” Adm. Gortney said. What if you don’t respect your (male) commander for having sex with other men or wearing a dress and pumps while on leave?
Knight was especially indignant when referencing a committee debate over the cost of the training materials needed to repeal DADT:
How about the cost of the training? Mr. Stanley said the Pentagon has spent $10,000. Mr. Scott noted wryly that it would be a miracle if anything came out of the Pentagon costing only $10,000. Mr. Stanley did not address how much time and treasure it’s really costing taxpayers to retrain nearly 2 million people in New Age notions about sex. [emphasis added]
Knight freely accuses Pentagon officials of lying about the cost of the training materials, despite having absolutely no reason or evidence upon which to base his accusation.
The conservative tactic for responding to facts about DADT is once again on full display. Despite overwhelming public support for repealing the law and a comprehensive survey showing that open service wouldn’t undermine military effectiveness, right-wingers like Knight remain determined to keep anti-gay discrimination enshrined in federal law.