May 26th, 2010
05:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Conservative group: DADT repeal will increase 'homosexual misconduct'

A prominent conservative group is warning against a change in the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.
A prominent conservative group is warning against a change in the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.

Washington (CNN) - As lawmakers consider a compromise plan to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," a prominent conservative group is arguing that overturning the policy against gays in the military will increase "homosexual misconduct" - even "sexual bullying, male rape, and forcible sodomy" – in the armed services.

On Wednesday, the Family Research Council held a conference call with reporters featuring retired military leaders and officials from the conservative group.

Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg argued that publicly available information from the Pentagon on sexual assaults in the military, along with other information, proves that the military currently has a problem with "homosexual misconduct."

"Homosexuals in the military are three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are, relative to their numbers," Sprigg said. "We believe this problem would only increase if the current law against homosexuality in the military, which was enacted in 1993, were to be repealed."

Sprigg referenced a report he authored which argued that if the law is overturned, more gays will join the military, thereby causing more assaults. The report also said gays will violate military regulations without fear of being discharged, and that victims will be afraid of reporting assaults by gays.

Retired Col. Richard Black, who previously served in the Pentagon, went even further, using graphic language to suggest what might happen if the "don't ask, don't tell" policy were repealed.

"It's a question of whether we will force soldiers to bond with homosexuals in the showers and the barracks, knowing that doing so will result in sexual bullying, male rape, and forcible sodomy," Black said. "There's a reason that we don't make men and women shower together. And for the same reason, we must not force men to shower with homosexuals – it simply does not work."

A prominent gay and lesbian advocacy group vehemently disagrees.

The Human Rights Campaign is actively campaigning for the repeal of the military policy. The group's website calls it a "failed law" and cites support for its repeal from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen.

"Americans recognize that on the battlefield, it does not matter whether a soldier is lesbian, gay or straight; what matters is that a soldier gets the job done," HRC's website states. "This discriminatory law hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk."

HRC also attacks the notion that harassment by gays will increase if the military policy is repealed.

"This legislation will not lead to increased harassment or claims of discrimination. Repealing DADT will only ensure that lesbian and gay service members are treated equally. The bill permits the U.S. military to prescribe and enforce conduct regulations as long as they are designed and applied without regard to sexual orientation," the HRC website states.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that 78-percent of Americans say that openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the military, while just 20 percent say they should not be allowed to openly serve.

soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Steve from California

    For the life of me I cannot picture two combat hardened ranger qualified hard charging ground pounders holding hands in the chow line.

    May 26, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. bennie new york

    I7 years later and the Christian right is using the same old scare tactics.

    May 26, 2010 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. jisenor

    Homosexuals in the military commit three times the number of rapes as do their heterosexual counterparts? Is this a reliable number? Where does it come from? Did a journalist write this article? If so, a reference to the source (or lack of source) of incendiary statistics would be a nice addition.

    May 26, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. debbie

    What a load of cr@p by the so-called Family Research Council. Nothing more than a cover by Dobson the Deceiver. Military has already been serving with gays they just don't talk about it. If their accusations were true they would already have happened. Other militaries have gays and it has zero impact. Not any different than when Truman allowed African American's in the military or to have women serve. Dobson has grown hungry with and for power as Lucifer and Judas. Too bad he has turned Christians away from Christ. He has placed himself above Christ and on that he will be judged on the last day for his sins.

    May 26, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  5. Mountaineer

    To the Family Research Group and Senior Fellows of Policy Studies seem to forget that it was there heterosexual counterparts that raped innocent Iraqis and took advantage of prisoners at the Iraqi Prison and murdered innocent women for no reason. How dare they try to smear Gays who serve in the military honorably. It takes two to tangle, just ask your Pastors and Senators who are queer as three dollar bills. One such conservative senator is hiding behind his marriage and is Queen for the Day!

    How dare you scum of the earth!

    May 26, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. John

    Where do they get this stuff? Like gays in the military are just bursting to "assault" their straight comrades? What a joke!

    May 26, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. william fitzwater

    oddly enough it should allow most solders who are gay to serve openly . in areas of misconduct it also allows it to be more openly addressed. my personal views are irrelevant even though I don't approve of this behavior but they don't need my approval.

    May 26, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  8. Patti in Dallas

    "Homosexuals in the military are three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are, relative to their numbers," Sprigg said.

    Oh puh-leeze. You don't know how many gay people are in the military, do you? If so, please tell us the number. This is so clearly bogus, you had to have fabricated numbers that fit your desired conclusion to even speculate on such things. And FRC wonders why nobody takes anything they say seriously.

    FRC and other rightwing religious orgs need gays to demonize when they're not demonizing abortion or, now, immigrants. Now they're just making up the very "studies" to quote as "support" for their bizarre "conclusions."

    DADT is in place SOLELY because heterosexual males are apparently so weak, so fragile, so "threatened" at their core by the THOUGHT that a gay person is nearby that they are rendered helpless and completely incapable of functioning professionally. That's the foundational logic for DADT in the first place. It's the ONLY reason it exists at all.

    FRC is simply hyping what they hope are existing prejudices and fear of gay people in order to perpetuate the "I can't handle the truth" law that is DADT.

    May 26, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. Pedro

    I hope this unfair, discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is repealed this year. It is ridiculous and outrageous to have Arabic linguists, medics, and soldiers being thrown out of the military simply because they are gay. The Family Research Council and James Dobson are backward, intolerant, anti-gay religious fanatics who are living in the past. I don't know why anyone even pays attention to their ranting and raving.

    May 26, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Chip

    The US military has lost over 13,000 qualified service men and women due to this archaic rule. Including those who are fluent in the languages our military needs. Most importantly, arabic languages. This is a huge loss for what few who really understand how the military operates, care about. Shame on us. Those who are willing to give their lives, whether gay, lesbian, or not, deserve our thanks for the freedom we have that they are willing to die for.

    May 26, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. Thinking is hard

    Our military allies in Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Israel, Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Belgium, Austria and several others, some of which have conservative governments, all allow gays to serve in their militaries without significant problems. Why do US conservatives have so little faith in the American military's ability to make this adjustment into the 21st century? We got through racial integration 60 years ago, despite conservative kicking and screaming, and we'll get through this.

    May 26, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. Jimmy

    I guess conservatives are only O.K. with raping of females by males. Oh no don't repeal "don't ask don't tell" there will be nothing but man on man action if that happens. Those silly closet conservatives are trying too hard to hide their true feelings.

    May 26, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  13. lysha wade

    When you invite the devil in, he does not know how to leave. Like a flood, homosexual finds its way into every crack and corner until it has flood every space; leaving behind its destructive mess. Its time for the people of God to stand up against this abomination and pray this beast back to hell. Matthew 10 and 15 plainly puts it better than I, but believe me the time is coming where we will one day stand and look back at the mess we have caused and left behind for our children to suffer. King David sinned against God when he commanded the children of Israel to be number. And when God plague the people he cried out because it was him that command it. They make the laws and command its effectiveness. But we suffer the consequences. Amen.

    May 26, 2010 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  14. lysha wade

    Sin is sin in the eyes of God. It don't take much to repent but a sincere heart. God see's the sins of his people and knows their short comings. But they that wait upon the Lord, He shall (will) renew their strength, they will mount up with wing of eagles...
    This ABOMINATION is a terrible beast that is destroying everything in America; from church, school, justice system, political,marriages, family values and laws. If we cannot see the damage this beast has already caused us and our future. Than all I can say is mercy LORD, mercy LORD... Amen...

    May 26, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    There's no need to be rude and go anti-religious in this conversation. Because choosing against someone because of their creed is the same as choosing against them for their sexual preference. So don't go there. If a few christians say they don't think gays and straights should shower together they are right, it's uncomfortable. It's as plain as that. I think they should have the right to serve, I respect them and applaud them for fighting and dying for this country. But I just think lets keep everyone from being uncomfortable when they shower.

    Don't be intolerant to all christians, cus I'm totally tolerant to gays. You have your rights, I have mine. Because if you knock me, you've become the bigot.

    May 26, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
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