Paul  Weyrich

Today staff of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee will meet with the staff of the Center for Military Readiness. This is believed to be the opening salvo in an effort to repeal the 1993 law which relates to eligibility for military service. The intent of some is to repeal the measure passed in 1993 by a strongly Democratic Congress. That measure became, thanks to President William J. (Bill) Clinton, what is known as the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy about homosexuality for the Armed Forces.

Repeal of that policy would likely not fly in this Congress. But liberals anticipate strong gains in the 2008 elections, possibly as many as 40 Senate and House of Representatives seats. With that margin there would be little doubt that the policy would change, especially with the likelihood of a Democrat in the White House.

The left wants homosexuals integrated in the military. The 1993 law says that the homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with military service. Basically, under the current circumstances if a homosexual does not make an issue privately or publically about his or her lifestyle he or she can remain in the military. The Armed Services are not supposed to ask about it either. The moment that a person's lifestyle becomes an issue he or she must leave the military.

Liberals make the point that homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military in other nations and claim there is no adverse effect. Those opposed to repeal say that even if members of the Armed Services keep to themselves someone is certain to find out and can subject that person to blackmail. In 1993 two papers were published in relation to the debate: the first was the United States General Accounting Office's report entitled Defense Force Management: Department of Defense's Policy on Homosexuality, which outlined the DOD policy on homosexuality and the reasons for it; the second was an argument by an Armed Forces general who argued against lifting the ban on homosexual- and bisexual-identified people based upon the belief that they pose a security risk and would erode unit cohesion and morale. Ironically the same argument is made by opponents of women in combat.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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