The Family Research Council owned up to its anti-gay hate group credentials yet again this week by encouraging servicemembers in the armed forces to openly condemn gay troops they serve with. Without concern for unit cohesion, the group has endorsed Rep. Duncan Hunter’s (R-CA) absurd “Don’t Pressure Me!” bill, and the animus behind it:
Essentially, the legislation would ensure 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 that member.” These “conscience protections” would give our troops just as much right to voice their opinions as others have to flaunt their sexuality. With just 13 days to go before the military opens its arms to gays and lesbians, the time to push Hunter’s bill is now. You can help by calling your members and encouraging them to cosponsor the legislation. Our troops promised to obey orders–not surrender principles.
Imagine a bill like this defending some other form of intolerance. What about if troops were legally protected from pressure to approve of a person eating Cajun food? Or speaking Chinese? Or practicing Islam? Or having a menstrual cycle? “Conscience protections” is religious code for “protected prejudice.”
What’s striking is the apparent depths to which conservatives will sink to rig the system so they can claim they were right all along. The biggest objection to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was the prediction that it would somehow hurt unit cohesion, because apparently heterosexual men are brave enough to risk their lives for their country but not enough to take a shower next to a gay guy. Though the argument intended to paint gay troops as predatory, it essentially expressed a distrust in the non-gay troops, that they wouldn’t have the fortitude to fight next to someone who wasn’t equally as straight. Hunter’s bill not-so-subtly encourages that predicted decay in unit cohesion by promoting dissension, urging those who are homophobic to prioritize their “principles” of disapproval over the stability of their unit. Opponents of DADT repeal want to be able to say it was a bad idea by making their own argument comes true.
Of course, the research bears out the opposite conclusion. When troops can serve openly, their own productivity will improve, as will that of their units. Clearly, Rep. Hunter, FRC, and other allies of this bogus legislation think being anti-gay is more important than military effectiveness.