- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2011

Soldiers offended by the sight of two male Marines kissing in public better not mention that fact to their superiors. Under President Obama, the new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rules turn the Clinton-era policy on its head. Now those who embrace traditional moral values are the ones being told to stay in the closet.

In testimony Thursday before the House Armed Services Committee, leaders of each service branch answered questions about what they have been doing to implement the repeal of the long-standing ban on open homosexual conduct in the military. In December, defeated members of Congress rammed through a repeal of the homosexual conduct ban in a lame-duck congressional session. The new policy will take effect 60 days after the Pentagon certifies that doing so won’t undermine military readiness. Given marching orders from the White House, the top generals and admiral made clear they have every intention of providing the rubber stamp the Obama administration seeks.

Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos insisted that so far there had been no “push back” from the troops. That’s because administration officials had been busy laying the groundwork for this change long before the repeal was signed into law. The message from on high has been crystal clear: Anyone who has a problem with the New Gay Army isn’t welcome. As Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Michael G. Mullen put it in a briefing last year, the answer for those who don’t like it is “to vote with your feet” and leave the military.

Committee Republicans raised concern about how the new policy would drive away experienced officers and enlisted personnel. There’s no doubt that a significant number of those interested in serving their country might pause at the prospect of joining up at a time when political correctness, not mission effectiveness, is the primary goal at the Pentagon. Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz equated the “moderate risk” of the open homosexuality policy with the risk of going to war.

Under questioning, the heads of the service branches were unable to explain how allowing homosexual conduct would enhance the ability of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force to wage war. That’s the big news out of this event, according to Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness. “All they talk about is mitigating problems,” she told The Washington Times. “Well, why cause the problems in the first place? It all boils down to the generals’ and admirals’ hope, and the junior officers have to cope. That’s what they’re calling leadership.”

Re-education briefings already have begun at the highest ranks and will continue down the chain of command to the enlisted ranks over the course of the next few months. Forcing soldiers to endure Powerpoint slides and new sensitivity training sessions would seem to be the last thing a commander in chief who just opened a third overseas war ought to do.

Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” never was about anything other than payback to the radical homosexual lobby for its support during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The new policy can still be stopped if the service chiefs refuse to certify that open homosexual conduct will have no effect on readiness. If they value their duty to America, that’s exactly what they need to do.