Attorney Rees Lloyd
October 15, 2010
In the midst of the national debate over the military policy of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” pertaining to homosexuals, there is now revealed an apparent attempt by the Obama administration to impose what amounts to a reverse “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy on heterosexual troops who speak in opposition to open homosexuality in their ranks and by their officers.
More particularly, active duty troops are apparently facing express or implied threats under the regime of President Barack Hussein Obama that if they speak out against open homosexuality in the military, they should “get out” of the military.
The Washington Times, which first exposed this, has called for an investigation by the Army Inspector General. It reports in part:
"In an August incident reported by The Washington Times but denied by the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the deputy chief of Army personnel and co-leader of the working group's policy team, reportedly used derogatory terms to describe service members who might resist implementation of a new LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender] policy.
“According to sources cited by the Times, one of whom signed a published letter (see Page B2 for a new letter), during an open forum with 500 troops in Stuttgart, Germany, Gen. Bostick suggested that persons disagreeing for reasons of religious conviction would have to ‘get with the program’ or get out. Given conflicting accounts, the Army inspector general should investigate immediately to determine exactly what happened."
If Gen. Bostick did indeed make this statement, just what does it mean? Is our nation now moving from "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" if you are a homosexual, to "'get with the program' or get out" of the military service if you are a heterosexual who "for reasons of religious conviction" speaks in opposition to open homosexuality in the military?
Whether or not those express words were spoken, active duty personnel should be given not threats but assurances that there will be no retaliation if they express disagreement with a policy of open homosexuality in the military, with its attendant circumstances of limited privacy, including in housing, sleeping quarters, latrines, showers, etc., with even less privacy in the field.
The issue of DA/DT is a complex one in which there is great disagreement and debate. The most important issue is whether open homosexual activity in the military, expressed by speech or conduct, will have a detrimental impact on military capability. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not agree on the impact; members of the House and Senate have not been able to agree; experts in military matters have not been able to agree. It is an issue of extreme importance-- the military defense of the nation, the primary responsibility the Founding Fathers imposed on the National Government which they created.
It is an important and unfinished debate with lasting implications, and need for continuing, serious study before imposition of a policy of open homosexual conduct on those who serve.
Indeed, if the policy of open homosexuality by word and deed is imposed, it amounts to a transformation of the military from the time of General George Washington in the War of Independence until the war being fought against terrorism today.
Now, it appears, the persons most impacted by the ultimate decision, the soldiers, sailors, marines, air force and coast guard personnel, are to be excluded from the national debate by any speech activity other than support of open homosexuality in their ranks, even if their objection is based -- or perhaps because their opposition is based -- upon "religious conviction."
This ban on speech activity would include in the particular, of course, enlisted personnel over whom homosexual officers, commissioned and non- commissioned, with a sexual interest in others of the same sex, have all but total power over enlisted men and women in the lower ranks.
Will the military now begin advertising for recruits with media messages which include the warning: "Persons who do not support open homosexuality in the military, particularly if based on religious conviction, need not apply."?
Is this policy of open homosexually in the military, with an apparent gag order on military personnel who do not support it, a policy desired and supported by members of the military, or by the American people -- the military defense of whom, from enemies foreign and domestic, is the primary duty, above all other duties, of the National Government, particularly the Presidency, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers?
Is this apparent threat, express or implied, to military personnel to the effect that they must silently go along with open homosexuality in the military, or get out of the military, how Americans, who send their sons and daughters off to serve their country, desire the American military, and the American nation, to be "transformed” ?
President and Commander-In-Chief General George Washington forbade open homosexuality in the Revolutionary Army, and literally “drummed out of service” and publicly denounced an officer who made a homosexual attempt on an enlisted soldier. Every successor President and Commander-in-Chief has followed a policy precluding open homosexuality.
Now, self-described “progressive” President and Commander-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama intends to transform the military by imposing a policy approving of open homosexuality. And he is apparently attempting to achieve that transformation by silencing troops who may desire to speak in opposition.
Obama, unlike most who serve in the enlisted ranks, has led a privileged life, attending private not public school while young, and later attending elite college and universities, although he has caused his records at those elite schools sealed from inspection for reasons unexplained.
Like so many other privileged, elitist “progressives” in his administration, Obama never deigned to serve a day in the military to defend American freedom. Others, most much less advantaged than Obama, who was the farthest thing from disadvantaged, went to military service, including war. He went to Occidental, Columbia, Harvard.
Thus, Obama knows nothing personally of the impact of open homosexuality on those who do serve in the military -- especially the impact on enlisted men and women over whose careers, and lives, their homosexually interested officers have all but absolute power.
There should be a full and detailed investigation by the Army IG, and by the appropriate committees of House and Senate, as to whether our American military personnel are being subjected to threats, express or implied, that if they speak of their opposition to Obama’s policy of open homosexuality in the military, they should “get out” of the military.
More immediately, President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, aware of the accusations, should expressly and publicly repudiate any attempt by those under his command to silence troops, whether by threat or otherwise. Obama ought to publicly pledge that he will protect troops from threats or retaliation for expressing opposition to Obama’s policy of open homosexuality.
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Indeed, those soldiers, sailors, marines, air force and coast guard personnel, should have no less right to speak in opposition to open homosexuality in the military than those who support it -- even if their opposition is based on “religious conviction.”
Most importantly, Americans should not remain silent while Obama silences the troops who defend Americans, including with their lives.
© 2010 Rees Lloyd - All Rights Reserved
REES LLOYD is a longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.
He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*
[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]