I think that Adm. Mike Mullen’s powerful statement today on ending discrimination in the armed services is driving the fundies a bit crazy. Chris Matthews hosted a debate between Aubrey Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council about the military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy, and eventually we got around to Sprigg’s real agenda. Do watch the whole thing to see Sprigg’s bankrupt arguments and Aubrey Sarvis’ rebuttals (“No one should have to lie to fight and die for their country”), but skip to around 4:49 for the punch line:
MATTHEWS: What should a young woman or man, 22 years old, out of college, officer material, they want to serve their country. But they’re gay. What should they do? They want to serve their country?
SPRIGG: Well, they should serve it in some civilian capacity, and not join the military.
MATTHEWS: Why not?
SPRIGG: Because the presence of homosexuals in the military is incompatible with good order, morale, discipline and unit cohesion. That’s exactly what Congress found in 1993 and that’s what the law states!
SPRIGG: Don’t ask don’t tell is the Clinton compromise policy which is actually incompatible with the law that was passed by Congress. There’s almost universal misunderstanding about that. I’d like to see us do away with this don’t ask don’t tell, and simply enforce the law that was passed by Congress.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Peter, do you think people choose to be gay?
SPRIGG: Uh, people do not choose to have same-sex attractions, but they do choose to have homosexual conduct […]
MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: Well, I think certainly-
MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.
MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.
It took all of eight minutes to get Sprigg to admit that he thinks gay sex should be illegal and that Supreme Court “wrongly” banned anti-sodomy laws. The notion that this is about “unit cohesion” or “military readiness” can be seen by this display as completely bogus: this is about controlling people’s personal lives, and demanding that the whole country live under a theocratic agenda.
Sadly, even Michael O’Hanlon of the so-called “liberal” Brookings Institution would rather bow to this need for discrimination in the military. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, does not. And that has teased out the real agenda of the antigay movement.
UPDATE: Mike Stark talked to some Senators on the Hill about DADT today.