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Thursday, May 27, 2010

From Our Mail - Center for Military Readiness

From: Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness

Re: Joint Chiefs Letters Should Deter Reckless Vote for Gays in the Military

In response to reports that both the House and Senate will rush to repeal the 1993 law regarding gays in the military, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, issued the following statement:

“Some members of the House and Senate reportedly are prepared to capitulate to President Barack Obama’s latest push for gays in the military—made desperate by the ticking of the electoral clock. This is not a ‘compromise’-- Repeal is the whole deal. The price will be paid by military men and women whose voices have yet to be heard.”

On Tuesday all four uniformed service chiefs─Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey─wrote separate letters imploring Congress to defer any legislation to repeal the 1993 law until the Defense Department completes its review.

Donnelly continued, “If Congress betrays the military during the current war and on the eve of Memorial Day, history indeed will be made, but the legacy will be one of which Congress will not be proud.”

Commenting on the May 24 letter announcing the president’s “Repeal Deal,” which was signed by Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Donnelly noted, “Mr. Orszag’s official responsibilities do not include policy-making for the military. A letter signed by the president’s helicopter pilot would have been more credible. If the Budget Director is now a military leader, perhaps he will take the place of President Obama at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

“I doubt that there has ever been an incident in history comparable to this. Military leaders have the duty to follow orders from civilian authorities, but Congress has a corollary responsibility to give appropriate respect to the professional opinions of uniformed leaders on a matter of policy that is still unresolved.

“Nothing has changed since Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said in a strongly-written letter that a hasty vote to repeal the law would “send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform” that their views “do not matter.” For these reasons and more, we trust that members of Congress will take this issue seriously, and decline to take any action rushing to repeal the 1993 law.”

Brief summaries and detailed information on this issue are available in a specific section of the CMR website titled Problems with Gays in the Military.

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