Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Repeal of DADT, Now Everything

I am sure that most of you are aware that the military has repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), a Clinton era policy that allowed gays to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual preferences a secret. President Obama and Admiral Mullins (current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) were able to convince Congress that allowing gays to serve openly would not have a detrimental impact on military readiness. The policy to allow gays to serve openly is now less than two weeks away from becoming reality.

You should also know that I have posted on how the training has basically been shoved down the throats of military members and that those who oppose the gay lifestyle because of their religious convictions are SOL (sorry, out of luck). The training that all members must go through focuses on what the ramifications will be to the member if they are not fully behind inclusion of gays into the service.

Now that the new policy is just days away from being enacted, the gay activists (who have probably never, and never will, served) are stepping up their demands. Not only do they want the gays to be allowed to serve openly, which could be considered mission accomplished, they are shooting for the whole ball of wax.

For a person married to a service member there are many benefits. Access to free health care, death benefits, free or subsidized housing, commissary and Base Exchange privileges and other items not available to the general public are just some of the wonderful privileges given to married couples. These activists (who have probably never, and will never, served) are now asking to be treated just like a married couple.

Aubrey Savis, director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said in his group’s August letter to Mr. Panetta that “we fully understand” that the Defense of Marriage Act prevents him for extending all benefits offered to married heterosexuals.

However, Mr. Sarvis identified 11 benefits that he says the law permits if regulations are changed, including military family housing, access to commissaries and exchanges, marriage and family counseling, legal aid and joint duty assignments (Source: Washington Times).

OK, so he wants to open a Pandora’s Box. Before I was married to my lovely bride, I had other long-term relationships, including co-habitation. In fact, before my wife and I were married, we lived together for nearly a year. Before she and I were married she was not allowed free access to the base and all of the benefits afforded to military spouses. I could bring her on base as long as I provided a voucher or was with her during base entry. But she could not enter the commissary nor could she make purchases at the Base Exchange.

I guess that regulations could be changed to allow access to all these benefits to the other member of a non-married couple. Since the DoD is standby the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it cannot recognize marriages granted in states like New York and Iowa that allow same-sex marriages. So, the only way to allow for a homosexual couple to be allowed access to base benefits is to allow access to anyone who is involved with a relationship with a military member. Are they asking that gay military members be given special privileges over their heterosexual counterparts? Would they have the regulations written to say that one must be gay for that partner to be allowed access? Are they say that heterosexual couples must be excluded from these regulations.

Maybe this would be an excerpt from the newly revised regulation.

1. Homosexual members who have a partner will be permitted to allow this homosexual partner access to base benefits to included health care, death benefits, commissary and Base Exchange access, and other program offered to traditional married couples.

2. Heterosexual couples who are not married will not be afforded any of these privileges because they don’t have a powerful politically active base. So you straight people who are not married but are a long-term couple are just screwed while we allow gay people who are not married (because we don’t allow same-sex marriages due to DOMA) all of the benefits of being married.

Requesting joint duty assignments is what the military does to try and keep married military members together during their careers. The assignments teams work very hard to keep married couple together over the course of their careers. But there were no previsions made for a military member who had a girl- or boyfriend they didn’t want to leave behind. If they unmarried couple wanted to stay together, they either got married or tried to make a long distance relationship work.

If Mr. Panetta caves to these demands, where does it stop? Will a young Airman who has a long-term heterosexual relationship with another military member also be able to demand that the girl/boyfriend get moved when they get an assignment? Can the Marine get an ID card for his girlfriend so she can get on base to use the medical facilities or commissary? The activists will try to point out that gay relationships are different. I ask, how so (other than the obvious)? If a straight military member cohabitates with his girlfriend, isn’t that the same thing as a gay member living with his boyfriend? I’d say yes.

As a final point here I would also like to point out that all of these base privileges and benefits are afforded to the military SPOUSE. Since the Department of Defense has already stated that they will honor the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), all of the benefits being requested by these activists are out of reach for their “partners”. You have to be married to get the benefits, and since the military isn’t going to recognize any but heterosexual marriages, these requests by the gay activists have no validity. If the DoD breaks down and gives these benefits to homosexual couples, then they must give them to unmarried heterosexual couples. If base and benefit access is given to the gay couple, who by definition (DOMA) are not married, and then not give them to the straight unmarried couple, the DoD runs the risk of putting one group above the other.

He is also seeking a change in the rules for courts-martail so that gays cannot be compelled to testify against their spouses, the same right hetrosexual couple have.

Mr. Sarivs also wants the military to issue ID cards to gay spouses so they may enter military bases without their military spouses as escorts.

“An ID wold also allow the same-sex spouse to bring dependent children on base with being accompanied by the service member,” he wrote. “The ability to bring a child to on-base services such as health care facilities is essential.” (Source: Washington Times)

Getting the courts-martial rules changed is just plain stupid. How can these activists ask for this kind of right when the DOMA only recognizes heterosexual marriages? The laws that prevent a spouse from testifying against the other spouse has a very long history, which I won’t bother you with here. But it only applies to spouses, not to cohabitators or long-term relationships. Basically what they are trying to do is allow for the boyfriend (or girlfriend) or a military member not be allowed to testify against them. When you boil it down, that is what this is. Don’t they think they have gone far enough in this short period of time? They have forced an organization that is typically conservative in their values to accept a lifestyle that does not dovetail with their traditional beliefs. Now they want to change hundreds of years of accepted law. Jeesh, grant them an inch and they want a mile.

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