News (USA)

Congressman seeks protections for ‘straight troops’ as DADT repeal approaches

Congressman seeks protections for ‘straight troops’ as DADT repeal approaches

WASHINGTON D.C. — A California lawmaker who participated in the GOP-led efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to derail the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” has introduced a draft bill that would require the Defense Department to “ensure that a member of the Armed Forces … is not pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of the member.”

Duncan Hunter

Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-Calif.), a former U.S. Marine officer and a veteran of combat operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq, has waged an on-going campaign to block, modify, or derail implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

Hunter’s latest effort states that while heterosexual service members must legally accept open service of gays and lesbians in the military, the bill would allow them to express their personal views, but not disobey direct orders involving openly gay service members.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of Hunter’s legislative aides told the Army Times:

“We’ve heard the training is really pushing the line for people who believe homosexuality is wrong on religious and personal grounds. It is a legitimate concern, under the circumstances, with the services working on disciplinary policies for people who don’t agree with this decision.”

The military always falls in line, but that doesn’t mean that the men and women who serve in its ranks should suddenly be forced to personally accept something that is contrary to their own principles,” the aide said.

The Congressman’s office in Washington acknowledged that he intends to introduce his measure on Sept. 7, the first full day back at work by the House after its August summer recess.

Hunter hopes to persuade the House GOP majority leadership to schedule a vote on the legislation before Tuesday, Sept. 20th, the day DADT is scheduled to officially be repealed, however a Senate source told LGBTQ Nation that the Senate would be unlikely to take up the measure.

Hunter’s previous efforts have been thwarted by the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate’s refusal to take up any legislation modifying the repeal, scheduled to take effect on Sept. 20.

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