WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Senate Democrats eye a repeal of the military’s "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy Tuesday, the Washington Times is standing by potentially explosive comments it published from an Army general, calling service members opposed to open homosexuality in the military "bigots" that "need to get out."
"Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them," said Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, deputy chief of staff for personnel matters, as quoted in a Times editorial Thursday.
"But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can't, they need to get out," Bostick told U.S. troops, referring to DADT. "No matter how much training and education of those in opposition, you're always going to have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like you still have racists today."
Bostick was reported to have given the remarks at the European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The Times noted that "the strong words take additional significance from Lt. Gen. Bostick's direct involvement with a Pentagon panel charged with shaping military policy on this issue."
The Department of Defense issued a statement by Bostick to reporters Friday, in which the general stated that he "simply did not make those statements," and has "been extremely careful" not to express opinions that might influence the Pentagon panel, of which he is a member, currently reviewing the DADT repeal. Bostick also called the statements attributed to him "personally reprehensible."
However, the Times staff has stood by the quotations.
"He either forgot what he said, is confused, or is lying," Washington Times editorial page editor Brett Decker said of Bostick, adding that the quotation came from "a member of the military who was there" and was verified by several sources. He said he would not reveal the source for fear of retribution.
Meanwhile, the Senate is scheduled to take up a vote on repealing DADT on Tuesday at 2:15 pm. Although Democrat leaders have expressed confidence in repealing the policy, it is unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has gathered the 60 votes needed to overturn a GOP filibuster over the issue. Vice President Joe Biden said last week that at least 55 votes have been secured.
Elaine Donnelly of the pro-family Center for Military Readiness (CMR) noted that, if a filibuster were to succeed, the chances of a DADT repeal "will diminish and possibly be ended for good."
"The four military service chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have asked Congress not to vote for this legislation before the Pentagon releases a report on what repeal would mean," noted Donnelly in a letter to supporters. "The opinions of active duty military men and women have not been heard, and Congress should heed the professional advice of our military leadership before taking any legislative action, as they have requested."
Dale O'Leary, an internationally recognized pro-family researcher and author, said Monday that any DADT repeal should be accompanied by amendments rejecting homosexual "affirmative action" programs in the military, and the freedom of Christian members of the military from being "censored, disciplined, demoted, denied promotion, or in any way discriminated against for voicing opposition to homosexual behavior, voicing the opinion that same-sex attraction is a developmental disorder that can be treated, or defending traditional marriage."
Also, said O'Leary, officers must be explicitly allowed to discipline or discharge a homosexual service member in connection with physical or mental disorder associated with homosexuality.
"Because a number of large, well-designed studies have found that persons who self-identify as GLBTQ are more likely than the general public to suffer from psychological disorders, substance abuse problems, suicidal ideation, and sexually transmitted diseases, it can be expected that a significant percentage of GLBTQ persons will be rejected for service, disciplined for certain violations, or discharged for cause," she wrote. "Therefore, no officer shall be charged with discrimination against self-identified GLBTQ persons for rejecting, disciplining, or discharging such persons for cause."
I never thought I'd live to see an American general express such contempt for the concerns of the soldiers under his command.
I'm deeply outraged by this.