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Log Cabin asks Hunter to abandon ‘Don’t Ask’ amendment

Cooper says measure would add ‘unnecessary and unwanted certification’ to repeal process

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The head of the National Log Cabin Republicans on Tuesday asked Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) to abandon plans to introduce an amendment that could disrupt repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin’s executive director, says in a letter dated May 10 that Hunter shouldn’t introduce his amendment on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” because it would complicate efforts for a repeal process that is already proceeding smoothly.

“Please do not road block the repeal of [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] by introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would add an unnecessary and unwanted certification measure to a clear, comprehensive and thus-far successful certification process,” Cooper writes.

On Monday, Hunter announced he would introduce an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 defense authorization bill on Wednesday during the House Armed Services Committee markup of the legislation to expand the certification requirement needed for repeal to include the four military service chiefs.

The repeal legislation signed into law in December provides for an implementation of open service in the U.S. military after 60 pass following certification from the president, the defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hunter’s amendment would expand the certification requirement to include the Army chief of staff, the Air Force chief of staff, the chief of naval operations and the Marine Corps commandant.

Cooper invokes the shared military service that he shares with Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, while asking the lawmaker not to introduce any amendment that could derail “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

“As a current captain in the United States Army Reserve, I will attest that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) does nothing to benefit the mission of the United States military,” Cooper writes. “By forcing servicemembers to hide or lie about their sexual orientation, [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] undermines servicemembers’ responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Dishonesty is also inherently counter to the long held Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.”

Cooper says repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” removes “the risk of blackmail” for service members who feel they have to keep their sexual orientation a secret to remain in the armed forces. Additionally, Cooper says the cost of the military’s gay ban has negative financial impact and cites numbers from the Government Accountability Office and the Palm Center Blue Ribbon Commission finding that the U.S. government incurs an estimated cost of $22,000 to $43,000 for discharged service member.

“To put it in military nomenclature, [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] is a ‘No Go,’” Cooper writes. “Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and implementation of open service will make our nation stronger by improving military recruitment, retention and readiness.”

Joe Kasper, a Hunter spokesperson, said in response to the letter that Hunter’s amendment isn’t intended to derail “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and Cooper should agree that implementation of open service should be “smooth and efficient.”

“If Mr. Hunter wanted to offer an amendment to derail the repeal, he would have done exactly that,” Kasper said. “What’s needed is a process that examines every possible issue, big and small. Rushing to implement the repeal, the same way it was enacted, will only complicate things. So it’s important that the service chiefs weigh in, absent the political influence of the chairman, the secretary and the president.”

In addition to sending the letter to Hunter, Cooper told the Washington Blade his organization contacted each Republican member on the House Armed Services Committee to urge them against roadblocking “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal with harmful amendments that would add “an unnecessary and unwanted measure to a clear, comprehensive and thus-far successful certification process.”

Also, Cooper said the coalition of groups who worked to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” intend to send out another letter later Tuesday to all members of the House Armed Services Committee calling on the lawmakers to pass defense authorization bill free of any anti-gay amendments.

The full text of Cooper’s letter follows:

Dear Representative Hunter:

As a fellow combat veteran, a fellow Republican and a current reserve officer, I am grateful that you and your colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee are committed to the readiness and sustainability of our military. A veteran yourself, you especially appreciate that proper training and equipping are necessary to achieve victory as well as mitigate battlefield threats to servicemembers. During the Bush Administration, I even had to the honor of traveling with many of your committee peers, including your father, into kinetic environments to highlight the efforts and the needs of our war fighters and diplomats.

However, as a current Captain in the United States Army Reserve, I will attest that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) does nothing to benefit the mission of the United States military. By forcing servicemembers to hide or lie about their sexual orientation, DADT undermines servicemembers’ responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Dishonesty is also inherently counter to the long held Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Even worse, dishonesty is a security threat. Repealing DADT not only removes the specter of discharge, it also removes the risk of blackmail and compromising national security. Where being gay or lesbian were once grounds for punitive personnel actions or dismissal, the CIA, FBI, State Department, the Defense Department on the civilian side, and defense contractors no longer take into account sexual orientation for reasons of dismissal. United States policy on this matter should be consistent in preferring honesty for the sake of security.

Further, Department of Defense implementation of repeal will likely be a force multiplier for the retention and recruitment of much needed personnel and resources to succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other missions around the globe. For 17 years, the United States has unnecessarily lost valuable human and financial capital to DADT. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Palm Center Blue Ribbon Commission, the government incurs costs of an estimated $22,000 to $43,000 per discharged servicemember. These estimates do not even account for the tremendous loss of expertise as well as the tax payer revenue expended training and equipping discharged members. Such waste is senseless and must end.

DADT is unconstitutional. DADT is a threat to military integrity and readiness. DADT is a threat to national security. DADT is a waste of taxpayer dollars. DADT is discriminatory. DADT is un-American. To put it in military nomenclature, DADT is a ‘No Go.’ Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and implementation of open service will make our nation stronger by improving military recruitment, retention and readiness. Please do not road block the repeal of DADT by introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would add an unnecessary and unwanted certification measure to a clear, comprehensive and thus-far successful certification process.

Respectfully,

R. Clarke Cooper
Executive Director

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Silent Service

    May 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    We all know the only reason that Hunter wants this amendment is because he knows that the bigoted asshat currently in charge of the Marine Corps will never sign off on letting gays openly serve in the Military. He knows that the Corps would quickly become flooded with hot blooded men willing to serve openly.

  2. Ned_Flaherty

    May 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    “Silent Service” wrote — incorrectly, unfairly, and anonymously — that GEN Amos “will never sign off on letting gays openly serve in the military.”

    That’s untrue.

    Since opposing DADT repeal one half year ago, Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos has reversed his position 180 degrees, and publicly said so. After addressing 12,000 Marines in late December, on 18 February 2011 he reported that, “everyone said, ‘Sir, we got it. We’re going to do this thing.’” (Source: http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/cmc/Documents/110218%20Defense%20Writers%20Group%20Breakfast.pdf).

    In April, Amos confirmed to Congress that he’s had no indication he will lose any personnel at all, when he and other DoD officials testified that the imagined resistance from personnel had never materialized, and that all DADT repeal training classes had been successful, with no problems or issues.

    In less than 2 weeks, the Marine Corps will be the first of the 5 branches of the U.S. military to completely finish DADT repeal training. We have nothing to complain about any more regarding GEN Amos.

    Community efforts are best channeled into replacing Rep. Hunter (R-CA).

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Politics

Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”

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Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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