Homosexuals Claim Discrimination over Military Marriage Retreat

As repeal of the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” was occurring “uneventfully,” critics of repeal repeatedly noted that the other shoe had yet to drop on certain points of controversy.

For example, how would the military handle the potential of homosexuals wanting to attend marriage seminars or retreats — when the chaplains who lead them may not affirm a homosexual lifestyle, and the troops who attend them may theologically disagree with homosexuality?

It would seem the shoe finally dropped — and homosexual advocates have claimed “discrimination.”

For its part, the Air Force appears to have been the first service to publish explicit guidance on how to handle such situations:

When you advertise a [Marriage Care] retreat, announce the chaplain who will be leading the event and the chaplain’s endorser.  If the chaplain is permitted to train same-gender couples in a MC event, then you may register all eligible married couples.  However, if the chaplain is not permitted to train same-gender couples in a MC event, be prepared to offer…a MC event at another base or at a later date to a same-gender married couple.

If a same-gender married couple will be attending a MC event, make this known to the other couples as they register.  If those couples choose not to register for this event, be prepared to offer them…a MC event at another base or at a later date.

As was discussed at the time, the Air Force has recognized Read more

Military Homosexuals: Little to Discuss

Occurring fairly regularly since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, another news article characterizes the “non-event” of the decision to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the US military.

[Lt Jonathan] Roman and two other Fort Gordon personnel said they have experienced limited instances of discrimination since the repeal was enacted in September 2011.

Similar articles have come out every few months with the same caveats — interrupted occasionally by an article that says the military is “struggling” with this “non-event.”

One question the press hasn’t seemed to consider:  Have heterosexuals or religious troops experienced discrimination since repeal?

US Military Homosexuals Find Conflict in Foreign Policies

The Stars and Stripes highlights the issues with open homosexuals trying to obtain official status while serving with US forces in Korea:

Romel Ballesteros can drive on post, drop his sons off at school, sign in guests and use the bank. But he can’t put gas in the family car or shop for groceries.

The stay-at-home father of two won’t even be allowed to watch his sons visit Santa Claus at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan’s post exchange during the Christmas season.

The reason?

Ballesteros is married to a man…

The article seems to imply the US military is to blame:  Read more

SecDef “Blasts” States Not Granting Homosexuals ID Cards

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel “blasted” nine states whose National Guard bureaus have refused to process requests for homosexual benefits at their state facilities.  In his Oct 31 speech to the Anti-Defamation League, Hagel said

several states today are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities.  Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, but their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.

This is wrong.  It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.

The situation is intriguing, because by calling these states “wrong,” Secretary Hagel appears to be calling the citizens who voted state laws into place “wrong.”  If a state has a constitutional amendment that refuses to recognize a homosexual relationship — an amendment passed by the citizens of the state — it naturally follows that the offices of the state, including its National Guard, would adhere to those laws.

Secretary Hagel continued:  Read more

Newsworthy? Homosexuals Get Military Benefits

Since the Supreme Court overturned a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, many outlets have run news stories about homosexuals obtaining military benefits, some published by the military itself.

The US Army made a point of publishing a press release highlighting that “Same-sex spouses of Soldiers now receiving benefits.”  It also reiterated the controversial “gay leave” policy:

Soldiers assigned to duty stations within Read more

Military Homosexuals Complain of Denial of Marriage Leave

The LA Times, repeated in the Stars and Stripes, reports that some homosexuals in the US military have complained they were denied access to the leave to which they were entitled.

The special leave — subsequently renamed an “administrative absence” — for homosexuals to travel to areas they can obtain a marriage license was ordered by the DoD to “level the playing field” with heterosexuals who, presumably, were allowed to marry in the immediate locale of a military facility.

While the repeal of DADT was previously described as a “non-event,” the LA Times now (dramatically) describes the military as struggling with the changes:  Read more

Air Force Issues Guidance on Chaplains, Homosexuals

The Air Force Chaplaincy recently issued guidance (PDF) on how chaplains should handle a variety of situations regarding homosexuals and chaplains whose theologies do not allow them to support that lifestyle:

Wing Chaplains, talk with the chaplains under your supervision so that you are clear on what each chaplain’s endorser’s expectations are regarding ministry to same-gender couples.  Honor those expectations and do not ask a chaplain to do anything contrary to his or her endorsement.

The Air Force appears to be the first service to explain how to handle marriage retreats where a homosexual couple may attend.  Speaking to the Air Force “MarriageCare” retreats:

When you advertise a MC retreat, announce the chaplain who will be leading the event and the chaplain’s endorser.  If the chaplain Read more

DoD Grants Spousal Benefits to Homosexuals

The Department of Defense announced it would grant homosexuals “spousal benefits” starting in September.

After a review of the department’s benefit policies following the Supreme Court’s ruling that Section Three of [DOMA] is unconstitutional…, the Defense Department will make spousal and family benefits available no later than Sept. 3, 2013, regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate.

Because some homosexual troops might be in Read more

Marines Allow Uniforms in “Pride” Parade, DoD Quantifies Homosexuals

The US Marine Corps permitted its members to wear their uniforms in the San Diego homosexual “pride” parade.

As noted at the Air Force Times,

According to the Pentagon, an estimated 5,600 active-duty troops and 3,400 National Guard and Reserve members are in same-sex marriages and relationships.

Notably, in the run-up to DADT repeal, the Department of Defense had repeatedly said it would not attempt to quantify the sexuality of US troops.  From the Support Plan for Implementation

The Department of Defense and the Services should continue their policy against requesting, collecting, or maintaining information about the sexual orientation of Service members.

Albert Mohler on Homosexuals and Morality

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has a lengthy but fascinating article on the argument against “homosexual marriage” from a perspective outside of morality.  Importantly, he brings up an interesting discussion on the “revisionist” view of marriage which

is vitally important, even essential, to any conversation about marriage in our modern context, for it points far beyond the issue of same-sex marriage to the prior assaults on conjugal marriage brought by no-fault divorce and the replacement of personal responsibility with mere personal autonomy. Sadly, the revisionist view of marriage is embraced by millions of heterosexual couples, married and unmarried, but it is essential to the very idea of same-sex marriage.

He also notes what has been said here several times before (much to one or two people’s chagrin), and was first intimated by Justice Antonin Scalia:  Read more

Secretary of Defense Outlines New Benefits for Homosexuals

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20 (ESV)

As part of the effort to ensure everyone gets treated “with equal dignity and respect,” outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has announced access to military benefits available only to homosexuals:

It is a matter of fundamental equity that we provide similar benefits to all of those men and women in uniform who serve their country…Today, I am pleased to announce that after a thorough and deliberate review, the department will extend additional benefits to same-sex partners of service members.

According to the SecDef memo (PDF),

These [new] benefits shall be extended to the same-sex domestic partners and, where applicable, children of same-sex domestic partners, once the Service member and their same-sex domestic partner have signed a declaration attesting to the existence of their committed relationship.

The new DoD policy emphasizes these benefits are available only to homosexuals.  Heterosexuals cannot sign the same statement and Read more

Pentagon Backs Army Spouse Club on Homosexuals

According to Buzzfeed, the Pentagon has supported Fort Bragg’s stance that an Army spouse group is not required to accept homosexuals:

Pentagon spokesman Nathan Christensen explained the current policy to BuzzFeed: “When [a private group] asks for authority to operate on a base, it must comply with all applicable DOD instructions and directives and laws, in this case [Department of Defense Instruction] 1000.15.”…

A Pentagon spokesman added late Tuesday that the Department of Defense “neither drafts, executes nor exercises control over the Club or its governing documents. Private organizations who adhere to the criteria outlined in applicable instructions are allowed base access.”

Technically, the Pentagon isn’t backing the group — they’re backing the law.  Since neither federal law nor military regulations require special accommodation based on sexual preference, neither does the Army.

If that’s the official Pentagon interpretation, though, it may leave some Marine lawyers in an awkward position.

USMC Lawyers say Spouse Groups Must Accept Homosexuals

If DADT repeal was such a benign ‘non-event,’ why are incidents like this erupting into scandals more than a year later?

The top lawyer in the US Marine Corps has reportedly told the Marine legal community that, to avoid “a stir” as seen at Fort Bragg, spouse groups operating on Marine installations must accept homosexuals:

The memo noted that spouses clubs and various other private institutions are allowed to operate on bases only if they adhere to a non-discrimination policy encompassing race, religion, gender, age, disability and national origin.

“We would interpret a spouses club’s decision to exclude a same-sex spouse as sexual discrimination because the exclusion was based upon the spouse’s sex,” the memo said.

This appears to be legal advice within the legal community and, as noted before, military lawyers do not make decisions about military policy (nor are they always right).  However, the article does not cite a Marine policymaker Read more

Chaplains Group says Military Homosexuals Demand Privileges

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.

Military Homosexuals Denigrate Army in Rally for Publicity

As framed by a self-described member of the military “LGBT community” (a moniker that technically includes violators of military regs, since the “T” is banned from military service) took to the internet after an affront by Army Public Affairs.  CW2 “Tania D” sent a message to “Have a Gay Day,” asking them to promote a photo that was presumably ‘censored’ due to “discrimination:”  Read more

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