Conservative leader: Draft may have to be reinstated if gay ban is repealed

By David Edwards
Thursday, November 18, 2010 12:57 EDT
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The presence of openly serving gays in the military will be so offensive that many Americans will not be willing to serve their country, says one conservative leader who has campaigned against gay rights.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins predicted Thursday that President Barack Obama will be forced to reinstate the draft if Democrats are successful in repealing the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which forces gay, lesbian and trans-gender members to hide their personal lives or face expulsion from the service.

“Barack Obama is opposed to the draft as a matter of principle, to be sure,” wrote Perkins in an op-ed for The Daily Caller. “But the president’s drive to repeal the ban on open homosexuality in the military could have this unintended consequence: It could bring back the draft.”

Perkins warns service members that if the policy is repealed, “your military family will be confronted again and again with forced acceptance of a lifestyle you regard as immoral.”

“Base ‘diversity’ efforts will promote the homosexual lifestyle. Parents of younger children will be hard-pressed to shield their kids from these. Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) will be turned into advocacy centers for acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. We may even see a military ‘czar’ appointed for this purpose,” said Perkins.

“All of these undesirable outcomes will cause a sharp reduction in recruitment. We have a top general and admiral who now say, outrageously: If you don’t like it, ‘get out!’ They are asking for an exodus,” he continued.

The military is not a red state/blue state institution. It unifies our country. It draws its dedicated members from all regions. Still, it is no secret that the military is a socially conservative institution. It recruits heavily from rural areas in the South, the Midwest, and the Inter-Mountain states.

In our larger cities, black and Hispanic recruits are encouraged to consider the military — which has historically been a great ladder of achievement for racial and ethnic minorities.

These are the very areas and groups who have been most resistant to the demands of the homosexual lobby. These are the very regions and groups who have rallied to our side whenever we put a defense of marriage initiative on the ballot

If these regions and groups do not enlist in our all-volunteer force, President Obama will be driven to the place he does not want to go: the military draft.

Like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Perkins rejects a leaked Pentagon study that says most US troops don’t care whether gays are allowed to serve openly.

“[T]his study was directed at how to implement the repeal, not whether the repeal should take place or not,” McCain told NBC’s David Gregory Sunday.

“The deeply flawed ‘survey’ of current members of our all-volunteer military should not lull policymakers into a false sense of security. Or, in this instance, a false sense of national security,” Perkins warned.

“The survey presumes that homosexuality is like skin color. Well, it’s not. You can easily have a neighbor in military housing of a different race. That presents no problem for your military family. But if the neighbors are a same-sex couple, then your family is affected in a very serious way. You must explain to your children that their beliefs and deeply-held values about marriage, about questions of religious faith, must be suppressed.”

As Right Wing Watch points outs, Family Research Council’s own interview with a military recruiter indicates that troops will continue to serve if gays are allowed to serve openly.

“I’m sure this thought has come to you and you may have even been asked about it. If someone considering getting into the military were to ask you if this policy changes, what are you going to say to them?” Perkins asked Sergeant First Class Benjamin Ratcliff.

“I would tell them to serve anyway,” Ratcliff replied. “If all men of courage and men that had a moral compass were to leave the military, then we wouldn’t have a military. There would be nobody left to serve and protect. So I don’t really — I would serve regardless of what comes out of Washington.”

This video is from Family Research Council, uploaded to YouTube Aug. 9, 2010.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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