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would only increase if the current law against homosexuality in the military, which was enacted in 1993, were to be repealed."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went even further, using graphic language to suggest what might happen if the "don't ask, don't tell" policy were repealed.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. Dano

    You conservative homophobes make me sick. We all know that most of the "homosexual misconduct" comes from GOP senators and the clergy! I would think with 2 active wars in the Middle East and elevated tensions with Iran & North Korea that the military would welcome anyone willing and able to do the job and not dwell too much on the person's sexual orientation.

    May 26, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. vet in tx

    I'm ssuper, thankss for assking" Nobody in the military really cares, as long as you can count on your fellow soldier to watch your back (no pun intended). We knew who was gay, who we suspected, but they were soldiers, period! Let's leave this discussion to those who have served, and not the regular liars who never made it out of basic for medical issues. Essayons!

    May 26, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. manhandler

    These nasty people should rename their organization. How about "Family Ignoramous Council'...that way they'll have a name that contains a more accurate decription of who they are and they'll only have to change one letter of their initials.

    Let's make DADT apply to straight as well as gay Americans that are serving in the military. Straight people will only be able to serve as long as their quiet about their orientation. That away,( according to these idiots,) there will a lot less straight sexual misconduct in the military.

    Gay Americans have been serving their country in the military forever.,,,,,from before the Revolutionary War until the present. What makes these idiots think that they'll turn to sexual misconduct just because they can serve openly? WHEW!

    Take your women by the hair and drag yourselves back into your caves where you belong.

    May 26, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The "Family Research Council" is a paradigm of bigoted, superstitious, thick-witted, ignorance.

    May 26, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. PDXSerric

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

    I'd like to see the source of this information, as it makes no real sense.

    "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."

    Really? Again, serious citation required. Firstly, to insist it will “increase” such behavior is to admit that said behavior already exists. So, there’s flaw one. Secondly, if two members of the armed forces are not supposed to engage in sexual acts then the term should be “sexual misconduct” not “homosexual”. Now, as for "sexual bullying, male rape, and forcible sodomy: – so all homosexuals are maniacal rapists now? What are the numbers of such acts outside of the military? I mean, if it’s that significant an issue I am sure there are TONS of public reports throughout the 50 states available to back this statement up, right?

    This is nothing more than bigotry-inspired fearmongering and panic. I’ll tell you what will happen if DADT is lifted and gays are allowed to openly serve in the military: yes, there will be some confrontations and conflicts at first – this is natural when facing a change in the established quo. But in the end, our volunteer-only armed services will increase in size and strength and maybe, just maybe, we can start building an image of respect and strength rather than segregation and fear.

    DADT = the death of the American Armed Forces. Remove it and we may grow.

    May 26, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Brenda

    I don't think that it is true that homosexuals in the mlitary will commit more sexual "crimes'.

    However, if they do reverse DADT.............

    The Government/military better be ready for lawsuits filed by heterosexual/straight service men/women for violations of their "rights"--if they are forced to shower/bunk with homosexuals/lesbians.

    And, the Government/military better get ready for decreases in enlistments-–as there will definitely be less people voluntarily enlisting to join the military.

    The MAJORITY in the country/military are NOT homosexuals/gay-–and the majority do NOT want gay "rights" forced upon us.

    In regard to the military-–they should just leave everything alone regarding DADT. The majority of gays and their supporters who are speaking out in favor of ending DADT-–are NOT in the military and do not have any plans of joining the military.

    May 26, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Nick , California

    Its like saying that we have to stop creating vehicles because the more we have on the road the more accidents will occur! It is true but through the years we have added safety features to prevent more injuries in car accidents. Or its like saying not to have children because one day they might get picked on or hurt!

    May 26, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" Economics has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    Do these morons ever listen to what they are saying?

    The gay folks are there NOW, they just cannot say so!

    And I do like how heterosexual men assume they are so hot a gay man will not be able to control himself.

    Please, the large majority do not merit a blip on the gaydar and if you do, your still safe, we do not rape others.

    Now, about those complaints from straight men how they do not want to be "leered at", you mean like you leer at all women now?

    hmmm

    May 26, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. gary

    If a gay soldier saves another soldier's life, i doubt that the soldier who was saved of his family would care about sexual orientation. And, I'm sure any heterosexual soldier will not feel threatened by gay soldiers. As Nancy Reagan puts it, "just say no." I would be much more concerned about my daughter serving with heterosexual men who can't control themselves after a few drinks.

    May 26, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    This is a joke, I'm surprised that CNN is even giving these bigots air time or space on their website. No doubt the standards have lagged since Bernie left. Part of journalism is not publishing garbage, its time you get your act together and spike this garbage.

    May 26, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. The Big J

    Why do we give the bigoted, ignorant, & the busybodies so much attention? How about everyone mind their own business for a while & see how that works?

    May 26, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Sandy

    Rapists are rapists whether they are straight or homosexual. Male or female. The services don't have a crystal ball, with the ability to predict who or who will not commit a crime. The rate of male on male assaults in the military is no different than in the civilian population. The same cannot be said for the male on female offenses.

    May 26, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Douglas Democrat

    "This will impair unit cohesion, trust, and warfare/ service effectiveness."

    70 years ago they said the same thing about integrating the forces.

    Guess what – the unit got over it.

    Every one of our NATO allies allow openly gay members to serve. Are you going to argue their effectiveness is somehow compromised because of this?

    If you believe that, then you really don't think too much of the ability of our troops to do their jobs and do them well.

    Oh, and let's mention the number of personnel who are openly gay and serving *right now* because their commanders look the other way due to that soldier serving in a needed MOS (such as corpsman or linguist).

    May 26, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Leo

    Heaven forbid gay people start acting just as poorly their straight counterparts!

    May 26, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. Donnatella

    These people can fight for our country but have to be under cover about their sexual identity, I don't think that is fair. As far as the shower and living conditions go, aren't they all showering together now, I guess when they are out of the closet they will ruin there career because some straight guy is irresistable.

    May 26, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Chris

    This "study" seems pretty fake, where did they get the 3 times more likely to commit assault number? I am not at all worried about gays in the military lowering the effectiveness or compromising missions, I am worried about studies like this.

    May 26, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Porter

    Our allies Canada, England, France, and Germany allow gays to serve openly in the military. Among the countries that do not are Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea. We are in good company, are we not?

    May 26, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Marie

    What is wrong with these people. What are they so afraid of, I'm so sick of the right trying to impose their morals on everyone else. It would be one thing if they practiced what they preached, but it's obvious they don't do that. We need to have equal rights for everyone in this country, and anyone who doesn't think so, certainly shouldn't call themselves a Christian.

    May 26, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. rdepontb

    Dear Family Research Council Members,

    Please-leave the building. Your sick minds are already gone.

    May 26, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. steven harnack

    Referencing a report that I wrote proves that the family research council is made up of idiots who need help dressing and using the bathroom. It has to be true because I read it right in the report that I wrote!

    May 26, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Hendrik

    Oh, please. 75% of us want gay people to be able to serve freely. Leave these people alone. I love these family values fools. Nothing to do with family, nothing to do with values.

    Idiot Repuglicans.

    May 26, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Retired Army in San Antonio

    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.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You're kidding......Right?

    We have that NOW in the military; of male Soldiers against female Soldiers!

    It's not a rampent problew, but it's a problem enough for the DoD to track.

    And BTW......repealing DADT will do NOTHING to increase "homosexual misconduct" in the military. This is just more homophbic BS coming from the conservative right!

    May 26, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. Timothy Lee

    As a Navy veteran and a gay man, I find the Family Research Council's comments disgusting and unconscionable.

    To suggest that the only thing holding gay people back from total lawlessness and unethical behavior is an unfair and prejudicial law is so amazingly obtuse and moronic that it hardly deserves my commenting on it.

    May 26, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Tim

    This is really nonsense. The Family Research Council are nothing but a tax-sheltered money-raising organization that makes a few old men rich.

    I was in the Army Infantry in the 60's, and went through all the training with the same people, and we shipped to Vietnam as a unit.

    Do these fools seriously thing we didn't know, or at least suspect who was queer, which was the term then? Of course we knew, and I never heard anyone say anything that wasn't said in private. There was no teasing, no provocation, nothing either way.

    In combat, these people fought beside each other, shed tears together when we took casualties, and our reduced numbers still have reunions every year.

    The FRC has no respect for the military – none at all. They only respect the almighty buck.

    May 26, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Rita Nalette

    sexist little oinker that i am, and having paid for the right, i believe that lack of self control and human failings are the only cause for human misconduct. anyone who believes otherwise needs a serious reality check.

    folk just need to keep their zippers up and their hands at home.

    May 26, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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