Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a statement today expressing “great concern to [a Defense Department] policy issued on August 13, 2013, especially the intent to extend special uncharged leave benefits to same-sex partners and not to all military couples.” He claims that Defense’s proposal — which would afford gay enlisted men and women a short administrative leave to travel to one of the 13 states in which same-sex marriage is legal — will “create disparate treatment between same-sex and opposite-sex couples in our armed forces contrary to the Department’s stated policy.”
The Department’s proposal is intended to allow gay members of the military to get married so that their spouses would have access to health care, thereby allowing the military to comply with a recent Supreme Court decision granting federal benefits to married gay couples. Creating the conditions necessary for the Defense Department to treat all military families equally constitutes, for Sen. Inhofe, “disparate treatment.”
He claims to “firmly support the Department of Defense’s stated commitment to ensuring that all men and women who serve our country and their families should be treated fairly and equally.” However, after the initial announcement last week he said the proposal was another example of the Obama administration “eroding our military’s historical apolitical stance by using it as their activism arm for their liberal social agenda.”
On the “Traditional Values” section of his official Senate website, Inhofe writes: “I have consistently supported and defended traditional marriage between one man and one woman as a cornerstone to the strength of our society. I strongly oppose the Obama Administration’s attack on traditional marriage and attempts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. I am proud of my pro-family record, and I believe that traditional marriage is best for the nurturing and development of children, and, as such, is critical to the success of our nation.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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