As Democrats tie up the votes to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Republicans and right-wing conservative organizations are growing increasing unhinged. House Republicans are “preparing to mount a vigorous defense” of the policy, Sen. John McCain is threatening a filibuster, and right-wing Christian groups are pressuring conservative lawmakers to toe the party line.
The American Family Association’s (AFA) homophobic Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy, Bryan Fischer, claimed this week that not only was Adolf Hitler gay, but all his “Brownshirts” were too. “And Hitler discovered…that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after,” he said. Similarly, a group called America’s Survival sent out an email titled, “Disease-tainted Gay Blood Threatens Our Troops!,” warning that “A vote to repeal the homosexual exclusion policy would inevitably mean more disease and death for members of our Armed Forces.”
Yesterday, the Family Research Council released a new report claiming that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would lead to more instances of sexual rape and abuse, particularly instances in which “the offender fondles or performs oral sex upon a sleeping victim” while he’s intoxicated:
And this atmosphere of political correctness…will give us a situation where victims might be less likely to report homosexual assaults and commanders might be less likely to vigorously punish them for fear of appearing discriminatory or homophobic…If there was ambiguity as to whether the case was consensual or none consensual, as to whether it was a criminal act then they would be less likely to report. As pointed out, in a number of these cases, the victims were sleeping or intoxicated. Under those circumstances, their memory bank may be clouded and…so the evidence may not be strong enough to stand up in a court martial.
On a conference call with reporters, the organization tried to dismiss inquiries about why these problems don’t plague foreign militaries that allow openly gay members to serve and downplayed the significance of the 14,000 troops discharged under DADT:
Listen to highlights:
If these arguments sound familiar, it’s because they are. As Nathaniel Frank writes in the seminal study of the 1993 DADT debate — Unfriendly Fire — conservative groups regularly argued that “forcing the acceptance of gays in the military meant victimizing the nation’s upright and moral sons and daughters,” spread disease among the forces and even force “military base magazine suppliers” to “carry homosexual pornography.” One study even closely mirrored FRC’s release. It concluded “that the sex crime rate of gay service members was higher than the army’s overall crime rate.” “The study was so biased — it never even bothered to look at rates of heterosexual misconduct, giving it no basis to compare sex crimes of gays and straights — that the army launched an investigation into the release of the data,” Frank writes.