The Senate should reject any stand-alone amendment overturning the 1996 Congressional Law preventing homosexuals from serving in the military. Why?
• Because according to the much-touted Pentagon Survey, 67% of Marine Combat troops on the front lines…right now…have indicated it could interfere with unit effectiveness, readiness and cohesion. The Marine Corps Commandant, General James Amos, testified December 3rd before the Senate Armed Services Committee asking members NOT to change the policy and reporting that men in the field are saying “the potential exists for disruption to the successful execution of our current combat mission.”
• Because the same survey reports that 24% of our all-volunteer force have indicated they would leave the military early if the law were repealed. That is one half million fighting men and women potentially lost during a time of war.
• Because PFC Bradley Manning recently leaked the largest amount of classified information in history, putting fellow soldiers and his own country at risk because he was gay and angry with a former lover. As unpleasant as it is to ponder, that fact must be pondered before we open the floodgates to others whose sexual identity may define them more than the uniform they wear.
• Because a substantial number of the 3000 military chaplains who provide the spiritual strength to thousands of our men and women, giving them courage and determination to carry on, have serious objections. The Washington Post reported, “No group had such strong – or sharply divergent views…” One chaplain asked superiors what people of faith with problems of conscience on the issue should do if the policy were overturned. He was told by a high-ranking official in the presence of others that he should get out of the military. Chaplains who have an objection have been instructed to remain silent while the repeal is being considered. If the policy is such a good one, why can’t it withstand debate? And why should we put our chaplains under this kind of threat without a careful consideration of the facts?