A right-wing “family” group announced to its members on Tuesday that President Barack Obama is responsible for the growing number of sexual assaults in the military, specifically calling out his “policy on homosexuality” and the repeal of the military’s ban on LGBT people serving openly.
“President Obama is finally admitting that sexual assault is a serious problem in the military–but what he hasn’t conceded is that his policy on homosexuality helped create it,” Family Research Council Tony Perkins wrote Tuesday, in a mass email noticed by Right Wing Watch. “According to a new Pentagon survey, most of the victims were not female (12,000 incidents), but male (14,000)–highlighting a growing trend of same-sex assault in our ranks. Although the Defense Department says it “recognizes the challenges male survivors face,” one of the biggest problems is their silence in reporting it.”
He went on to claim that because Obama “ordered military leaders to embrace homosexuality,” this is the result, and his group supposedly predicted it all along.
What Perkins fails to account for are complex ideas like percentages and ratios, specifically the ratio of men to women in the military and the percentage of sexual assaults endured by women versus men. According to The Associated Press, one in five female soldiers reports experiencing sexual assault during their time in the military, versus just one in 100 males. However, a Pentagon survey released earlier in May found that men are less likely to report sexual assault to superior officers than women, although the vast majority of sexual abuse still goes without formal complaints.
In the wake of the Pentagon’s report, President Barack Obama vowed to have “no tolerance” for any sexual assault in the military’s ranks. “Sexual assault is an outrage,” he told reporters during a press briefing. “It is a crime. That’s true for society at large, and if it’s happening inside our military, then whoever carries it out is betraying the uniform that they’re wearing.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights-era advocacy organization, considers the FRC to be a “hate group” with an anti-gay bent, often prone to making up false and misleading information to slander LGBT people. “Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media,” the SPLC explains. “It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to ‘transform the culture.'”