Retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews penned a lengthy commentary at The Washington Times entitled “Homosexuals in the military demand special privileges: Toleration doesn’t cut both ways.” The article collects many of the tidbits that have been mentioned off-hand in other media articles claiming DADT repeal has had no effect — the one liners have been quoted as asides that ‘some are claiming otherwise.’
The first anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Sept. 20, has come and gone. Now, there is mounting evidence that proves our warnings were not idle chatter. The threat to freedom posed by this radical sexual experiment on our military is real: It is grave and it is growing.
The article contains an extensive list of examples of negative repercussions from the acceptance of homosexuality in the US military:
Officials have allowed personnel in favor of repeal to speak to media while those who have concerns have been ordered to be silent. Two airmen were publicly harassed…[for] privately discussing their concerns about the impact of repeal.
A chaplain was encouraged…to resign [or] “get in line with the new policy…” Another chaplain was threatened with early retirement, and then reassigned to be more “closely supervised” because he had expressed concerns with the policy change…
Service members…protested a service school’s open-door policy…The protesters claimed that they had a right to participate in sexual behavior with their same-sex roommates.
While this article lacks detail in most of the examples, many have been discussed in greater specificity before. For example, as discussed here the chaplain told to “get in line” was in a briefing in 2010 — and the comment came from then-Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm Mike Mullen.
The “problem” with the examples isn’t specificity; it is that in and of themselves they are largely not actionable. An Admiral telling an officer to ‘get in line or get out’ is perfectly militarily acceptable — unless one is willing to consider the Admiral was failing the military’s own directive to demonstrate tolerance for the officer’s religious viewpoint. Even then, it is, at best, an indicator of the military culture, and not necessarily an actionable violation of a specific regulation. Being harassed for opposing homosexuality is currently in vogue, and demanding an exception to the open door policy is reprehensible (and unwise), but it is not illegal.
In other words, most of these examples demonstrate a negative impact on servicemembers as a result of the repeal of DADT. In fact, they may be indicators of the greater cultural narrative being pushed in the military today.
The difficulty is in challenging that narrative. While these examples may demonstrate a cultural shift toward an environment hostile to those morally opposed to homosexuality (and supportive of those who defend it), it is difficult or impossible to cite chapter and verse of military regulations against a “culture.”
In the end, those who are morally opposed to homosexuality are left with evidence of a potentially hostile culture in the military — despite reassurances to the contrary. However, since that cultural shift does not technically violate any regulations, those who support military service by open homosexuals are able to simply say “tough.”
On the other hand, this may be evidence that specific rules protection the religious liberty of those morally opposed to homosexuality are, in fact, required. They have been proposed in Congress before and failed to make it through conference committee. They were proposed again this year. Were such legislation to be passed, action taken against a servicemember because of their expression of moral or religious opposition to homosexuality would be explicitly prohibited. In other words, there would be a chapter and verse regulation to cite, even if a “hostile” culture existed.