Dozens of Religious Right leaders have come together to sign on to a letter [PDF] released under the Freedom Federation banner calling on the Senate to put off any vote on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell until the next session of Congress so that there can be investigations into whether the findings of the recent report showing DADT could be repealed with little to no risk was, in fact, the result of a “climate of not-so-subtle intimidation in the Pentagon” that lead to the
It is a serious risk to national security to repeal DADT without first investigating thoroughly – in public hearings – the effect of the proposed repeal. We are engaged in a war on many fronts. Our troops are in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. This is no time to experiment with social engineering of the military.
We are also gravely concerned about the effect that repealing DADT will have on religious freedom. One senior army general, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, said that those who oppose repeal are guilty of unacceptable attitudes that he reportedly described as “bigotry.” Additionally, expert analysts have warned that a “non-discrimination” policy for sexual minorities will have broad-reaching effects on religious freedom. It is conceivable that chaplains will be forbidden to preach or speak about their denomination’s position on homosexuality.
The Defense Department report on the likely effects of repealing DADT was not released until November 30, 2010. There is simply not enough time between then and adjournment to investigate and deliberate about this very important issue. For that reason, any consideration of repeal should be put off until next year.
Moreover, we are deeply concerned about the methodology of the DOD report and survey. In view of General Bostick’s disturbing comments and Admiral Mullen’s and Secretary of Defense Gates’ unseemly cheerleading on this issue, we believe it behooves the next Congress to investigate whether proponents of repeal tried to create a climate of not-so-subtle intimidation in the Pentagon.
The rush to repeal DADT by January of 2011 is a slap in the face of the American people who are tired of bully politics. Moreover, the consequences of repealing DADT will no doubt result in service members leaving the military or refusing to join. We cannot afford attrition or demoralization of our military in light of the wars we are facing in the Middle East, not to mention the looming threat of North Korea.
Among the names listed on this are:
Mat and Anita Staver
UPDATE: Apparently the Sarah Palin signature on this letter was a mistake, as that signature now reads:
Constitutional TEA Party
Sarah Palin Republican Women