Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Do Gay-Bash
WorldNetDaily is not happy about President Obama's plan to overturn the ban on gays in the military, which translates into a lot of gay-bashing by its columnists.
By Terry Krepel
WorldNetDaily has a long history of hostility toward gays -- to the point that it inexplicably puts the word "gay" in scare quotes -- so it's unsurprising that it isn't terribly thrilled with President Obama's decision in January to move toward repealing the military's don't ask, don't tell policy and allow gay members of the military to serve openly.
WND's columnists quickly revved up their anti-gay machine. Les Kinsolving took exception to Obama's statement that don't ask, don't tell "denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," insisting in his Jan. 30 column that "For under the presently existing armed forces regulation of 'Don't ask, don't tell,' homosexuals can be enlisted and remain in the service provided (1) they do not advertise their sexual orientation and (2) they never engage in it in barracks, foxholes, aboard ship or in submarines." Kinsolving's argument devolved rapidly from there:
Should our armed forces be ordered to open their ranks to practicing polygamists and polyandrists? If not, why not?
Kinsolving -- who's a tad obsessed with homosexuality, regularly denouncing gay activists as the "Sodomy Lobby" -- was actually one of the more restrained voices at WND. Dave Welch, in his Feb. 6 column, asserted that "Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen are the latest to shed any core principles and bow to the ungodly assault on everything good and decent in our nation by this president." Welch claimed that "The foundation of the ban on homosexual behavior in the military is directly linked to the Judeo-Christian principles that have been the foundation of Western civilization."
Mychal Massie joined in the gay- (and Obama-) bashing in his Feb. 9 column:
Obama's casting an openly homosexual military as being about integrity is the height of dishonesty. It is about deconstructing the finest fighting machine in the history of the world. It is about forcing an Erebusic agenda and behavior into an environment that is morally and socially incompatible with it.
In addition to working in "Erebusic" -- one of his favorite five-dollar words -- Massie also wrote, "A reader who is in a position to know told me that the 'last survey among military folks [revealed] that 25 percent won't re-up if this happens. This means that to allow [the] 2 percent of those out there who choose this lifestyle into the military, we'd lose 25 percent of the experienced military folks who have morals.'"
Actual facts not advanced by some murky, anonymous guy, however, tell a different story. A Military Times poll found that 10 percent of active-duty service members surveyed "said they would not re-enlist" if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed. Further, a 2003 article in Paramaters, the journal of the U.S. Army War College, states:
In a 1985 survey of 6,500 male soldiers, the Canadian Department of National Defence found that 62 percent of male service members would refuse to share showers, undress, or sleep in the same room as a gay soldier, and that 45 percent would refuse to work with gays. A 1996 survey of 13,500 British service members reported that more than two-thirds of male respondents would not willingly serve in the military if gays and lesbians were allowed to serve. Yet when Canada and Britain subsequently lifted their gay bans, these dire predictions were not confirmed.
Just because some "experienced military folks who have morals" say they will quit the military if don't ask, don't tell is repealed doesn't mean they will -- a documented fact Massie doesn't mention.
Pat Boone, in his Feb. 27 column, wants gays in the military to remain as deeply closeted as possible:
When it comes to the military, and the long-established "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Adm. Michael Mullen (unlike most of his fellow commanders) says he thinks the law should be changed "because it forces gay troops to compromise their integrity by lying."
Professional gay-basher Matt Barber weighed in as well in his March 4 column, asserting that "allowing practitioners of the homosexual lifestyle to serve openly in our armed services should not and must not be 'tolerated'":
The fact that "homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline" has not changed. Proponents of military homosexualization offer scant evidence to the contrary. In truth, the only thing that has changed is politics.
Ilana Mercer took a novel approach to the issue in her March 5 column. The military's problem isn't gays, she wrote; to the contrary, "homosexual men are not necessarily effeminate all the more so men who've chosen a military career; they are unlikely to be limp at the wrist." Straight women, however, have an unfortunate habit of getting pregnant:
The military is soaked in sex. The presence of women has helped this state of affairs. Throw together young men and willing women and you've created an undisciplined, sexually charged atmosphere. Coupled with enabling laws, this combustible admixture is bound to yield bumper crops of unmarried moms and (poor) baby bastards.
Jane Chastain used her March 11 column to declare that members of the military "need to be defended from Barack Obama's plan to expand the gay-rights agenda by using our armed forces as a laboratory for social experimentation." Chastain claimed the number of military members dismissed under don't ask, don't tell is "miniscule," and howled, "Is it fair to put our men and women in the military, who have no control over where they sleep or shower, in situations where they are viewed as objects of sexual desire? Isn't military life difficult enough as it is?"
But it wouldn't WND if some writer didn't go off-his-meds crazy and unleash a mind-bogglingly hateful rant. Which brings us David A. Noebel's March 12 take on gays in the military, starting with his assertion that "It turns out that nearly all the major security risks (those who betrayed the United States to the Soviet Union, Communist China, etc.) also had homosexual connections. It seems that spies and homosexuality went together like Mary and her little lamb."
Noebel went on to decry "the homosexual practice of colonization, in which "homosexuals would settle into a position and then use their position to hire fellow homosexuals into the same department or even move them into a higher position until the department was completely colonized." He also applied the term "flaming homosexual" to both Obama administration official (and WND smear target) Kevin Jennings and economist John Maynard Keynes.
Then Noebel really cranked up the crazy:
Now it's 2010, and President Obama, a man steeped in radical left-wing politics and a kind of Students-for-a-Democratic-Society-Commander-in-Chief, wants to allow "open" homosexuals in the United States military. Open homosexuality would have to include the GLBTQ gamut gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer. Lambda Legal and the ACLU will insist on it. And Sen. Lieberman already proposed on March 8 a bill "legalizing bisexual behavior in the U.S. Military."
WND's advocacy on the issue isn't limited to hateful columnists -- it also runs false and misleading "news" articles on anyone who supports the repeal.
An April 23 article by Chelsea Schilling (who has a history of shaky reporting at WND) portraying then-potential Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as in league with gay opposition to don't ask, don't tell -- which also repeated speculation about Kagan's sexual orientation -- by writing of Kagan's action as dean of Harvard Law School: "In 2005, Kagan distributed a note to the Harvard Law School community explaining that the Department of Defense notified Harvard University that it would withhold all federal funds if the law school continued to prohibit the military from being welcomed on campus. She then reluctantly lifted the ban for the fall 2005 recruiting season."
Schilling failed to report the ban was implemented at Harvard Law School because a federal appeals court had ruled that the Solomon Amendment, which stated that universities that do not provide access to military recruiters cannot receive certain federal money, violated First Amendment free-speech rights. Nor did Schilling report that in the letter she cited, military recruiters had access to Harvard Law students through school's veterans association.
After Kagan was actually nominated to the court, WND repeated the bogus the gay-related attacks. A May 10 article by Bob Unruh sneered that "Kagan had tossed military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus because of the military's 'discrimination' against homosexuals because they were not allowed to openly portray their chosen lifestyle in the ranks." In fact, she did not kick military recruiters off campus.
WND's hatred of gays is so all-consuming, though, that Unruh devoted a Feb. 19 article to the bizarre claim of "[a] team of top-drawer civil and religious rights lawyers" -- read: the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund, with whom WND has a close relationship -- that Obama is "establishing a religion for the U.S. military through his demand to promote open homosexuality in the ranks":
"The military would effectively establish preferred religions or religious beliefs," the letter said. "That is a constitutional offense that carries a very pragmatic consequence: just what will happen to recruiting efforts if Christians become second-class soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines."
As Unruh so frequently does, he makes no apparent effort whatsoever to gather any response to the lawsuit, despite the fact that journalists are suppose to tell both sides of the story.
But that seems to follow in WND's philosophy: Gays aren't real people and must be treated only with pity, derision and/or contempt. And they must be treated doubly so if they want to serve in the military.