Open Homosexuals in the Military: Bad Idea Then, Bad Idea Now

Obama’s vow to “outlaw discrimination” would criminalize traditional morality in the Armed Forces

The column by Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs at the Liberty Counsel and a Board Member of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, first appeared in WorldNetDaily. Barber will be the keynote speaker at AFTAH’s fund-raising banquet on Saturday, October 24:


WorldNetDaily, Friday, June 26, 2009

By Matt Barber

Most are unaware that during the Revolutionary War George Washington was a staunch advocate for allowing “gays” in the military. In fact, he boldly commissioned the little-known “Fabulous Pink Brigade,” which once infiltrated a British camp and –– while the redcoats slept –– covertly redecorated in eye-popping pastels.

No, although Washington was a revolutionary, he wasn’t a radical. The idea of open homosexuality within our armed services has long been considered preposterous.

Washington wisely understood that to allow men among the ranks who sodomized other men would necessarily distract from the mission at hand, disrupt unit cohesion and damage the morale of non-sodomy-disposed soldiers forced to sleep and bathe alongside those so inclined. It’s understandably disquieting to wonder whether your foxhole buddy “has your back” or wants to rub it.

In general court-martial orders dated March 14, 1778, Washington, through his designs, addressed the disposition of a homosexual soldier “tried for attempting to commit sodomy”: “[We] do sentence him to be dismiss’d [from] the service with infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of camp tomorrow morning by all the drummers and fifers in the Army never to return.”

Barack Obama is no George Washington. He and a like-minded gaggle of congressional liberals have pledged to repeal the federal law, Section 654, Title 10, which stipulates that homosexual practice is incompatible with military service. Furthermore, they intend to do away with Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” administrative compromise.

The president has asked Congress to pass and send to his desk H.R. 1283, which, for the first time in American history, would homosexualize the military. To wit, he seeks to supplant military vitality with San Francisco vice. Whereas George Washington put a premium on combat readiness and national security, these indispensable safeguards play last fiddle to liberals’ obtuse fixation with political correctness.

In the deadly game of war it’s dangerously irresponsible to place extreme social ideology above national security. In combat, even the slightest disruption or distraction can spell the difference between victory and defeat –– life and death. The left fails to understand this grave reality.

The boots on the ground do not. In a March 31, 2009, letter addressed to President Obama and members of Congress, over 1,l00 of the military’s highest ranking and most distinguished commanders warned that they were “greatly concerned” by movement toward military homosexualization. They expressed fear that a DADT repeal would “eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.”

It seems their fears are justified. A 2009 Military Times poll determined that nearly one in 10 of those currently serving would not re-enlist if the policy were repealed. In today’s highly perilous global political climate, such a plummet in service could be devastating to national security.

I’m speaking from personal experience. I served 12 years in the Army National Guard. During basic training a young man who later turned out to be homosexual was discharged after making unwanted advances toward other soldiers and for inappropriately touching several while they slept in the barracks.

A lengthy investigation ensued. Troops were pulled away from their regular training to answer questions. It was a tremendous distraction for our entire platoon. This incident most definitely disrupted unit cohesion and harmed troop morale.

But none of this matters to liberals. Obama is the un-Washington. The left –– of which Obama sits on the fringe –– loathe the armed services. Rather than viewing the military as a noble and necessary institution designed as our last line of defense, they consider it a giant petri dish ripe for radical social experimentation. Move over Army National Guard; make way for the smarmy avant-garde.

But it’s not just the military that Obama seeks to “remake”; it’s the entire social construct. On June 1, 2009, he unilaterally and arbitrarily issued an official Presidential Proclamation smugly declaring that all Americans should celebrate sexual deviancy. He dubbed June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.”

Rather than regarding homosexual practice with “abhorrence” and “detestation” –– as did George Washington and most everyone until recent years –– Obama has euphemistically vowed to “outlaw discrimination” (read: criminalize traditional morality). Included within his proclamation –– and among a host of equally radical social pledges –– was yet another promise to “[end] the existing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. …”

Well, in recent weeks the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the notion that DADT constitutes “discrimination.” It affirmed a lower court ruling which held that the policy is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

In an age of rampant judicial activism, it’s refreshing to witness some common-sense judicial restraint. This decision by the Supreme Court should once again remind everyone that, contrary to the propaganda fomented by the organized homosexual lobby, Barack Obama and liberals in Congress, homosexual temptation and the destructive but changeable homosexual lifestyle must not be confused with neutral and immutable characteristics such as race or gender for purposes of assigning special government minority status.

That is to say, it’s properly illegal, for instance, to ban African-Americans from serving in the armed forces. It is neither illegal nor discriminatory, however, to disallow an African-American who “loudly and proudly” opts to practice what George Washington would have called “the sin that dare not speak its name.”

Hands off the military, Mr. Obama; we can’t afford the “progress.”

Matt Barber ( is Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)

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