Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has been one of the chief opponents of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, having attempted — and failed — to delay the process by requiring the service chiefs to approve the repeal. He has also said the military “isn’t the YMCA” and that he didn’t trust the president, Secretary of Defense, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make such a decision for the military. His latest effort to obstruct the repeal outdoes all his previous attempts, directly insulting the military’s integrity and contradicting the very “unit cohesion” argument that was used to oppose repeal. Here’s the text of the bill:
To amend Public Law 111-321 (Dont’ Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010) to require that… members of the Armed Forces are not pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of the members.
Hereby dubbed the “Don’t Pressure Me!” bill, Hunter is attempting to defend troops’ right to be homophobic to their fellow servicemembers. It’s unclear if this bill somehow targets the trainings associated with DADT repeal or if it’s merely meant to symbolically enshrine disapproval of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals into United States Code. Either way, such a policy would negatively impact unit cohesion, making it difficult for commanding officers to resolve disputes and putting LGB servicemembers at greater risk for abuse and discrimination. It’s unclear how a policy of “not pressuring” would even be enforced.
Hunter seems willing to go to any length to ensure that people can be homophobic without repercussion. One wonders why he thinks it’s so important to protect such negative viewpoints, particularly when being out actually has positive impacts on teamwork and productivity. If anything, it’s clear that the success of the military is not his top priority — it’s discriminating against gays.