Barack Obama may have pushed through the legislation that opened the U.S. military for open homosexuality to pay off a campaign promise to his constituents, but it will be the president during the next term who will have to deal with the ramifications, according to officials with the Center for Military Readiness.
Officials there say that means it would be a good thing to know the positions of the GOP candidates for the office, as Obama has made his position clear already with his campaign to abandon centuries of precedent that was proven to build unit cohesiveness.
And there could be ripples on Obama’s pond. The CMR reports that a recent survey revealed 31 percent of active-duty respondents said someone “came out” – or announced his or her homosexual lifestyle choices – following repeal of a law that banned such activity.
While 5 percent said there was no increased tension, a whopping five times as many, 26 percent, said there was, the report said. That means one in every four American soldiers is feeling additional stress because of the presence of open homosexuality in the ranks.
That probably is just the tip of the problem, too, the CMR said.
“In the same way that effects of recently announced defense budget cuts and force reductions may not be known for years, unprecedented policy changes that weaken the culture of the military will not be immediately apparent,” the organization reported.
With the need to be aware of what strategy might be coming, the group surveyed GOP candidates, and released its report, coordinated and assembled by CMR President Elaine Donnelly with help from more than a dozen other conservation organization leaders.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich answered the survey, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman did not. Their perspectives were derived from other interviews and statements.
According to the results, Perry and Santorum said they would have joined former candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, a candidate at the time, in voting against the repeal of the 1993 law regarding homosexuality in the military.
The law was rammed through a lame-duck session of Congress in December 2010.
The three all said they would call for a full review of the consequences of the change.
Romney didn’t respond, but in a 1994 letter he sent to a homosexual activist group he said he would do a better job than his opponent, Sen. Ted Kennedy, in making “equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.”
Paul also did not answer the questions in the survey, but Paul voted for legislation to repeal the 1993 law twice in 2010.
Huntsman also didn’t respond to the survey, but long has supported civil unions.
To the question, “As commander-in-chief, will you order full and specific reviews of the consequences of LGBT Law and related policies in the military, and take administrative or legislative steps to restore sound policies regarding homosexual conduct that improve the All-Volunteer Force?”
Perry, Bachmann and Santorum said “yes.”
The three also were in unison on questions about instructing the Justice Department to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, and to prevent penalties for military chaplains or others who express sincere concern or disagreement with the LGBT campaign launched by Obama.
The CMR reported that while the military is reporting the change has been accomplished without ramifications, “With the exception of having to sit through one-hour LGBT training sessions, most active-duty personnel, even in the combat arms, have not been affected by repeal directly.”
The CMR report said the problem with Romney’s position is that sound policy for a military force “cannot be switched on and off, depending on the direction of the political winds or promises made to LGBT activists… Sound policies that reinforce morale and readiness should be maintained at all times.”
After Paul responded in “The Hill’s” Blog Briefing Room that heterosexual relationships in the military also were disruptive, the CMR noted, “Congressman Paul has it half-right. It is true that we have issues of sexual misconduct in the military. But if we know that human imperfections exist, why should the Pentagon worsen the problem by adding new forms of sexual misconduct?”