Friday, March 26, 2010

Obamanation: Same-sex 'Marriage' De facto in Military

As the Pentagon announces the path toward reversing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," defense spending will inevitably include homosexual partnership spousal benefits.

-- From "Would partners of gay troops get benefits, too?" by Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press 3/26/10

Momentum appears to be building for ending the ban on gays in the military. New rules ordered Thursday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates make it harder to discharge men and women under the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell." His decision is intended as a stopgap measure as Congress weighs whether to go along with President Barack Obama's request to repeal the law.

Since the draft ended in 1973, spousal benefits have increasingly been used as an incentive to recruit and retain an effective force. Today, more than half of all troops sport a wedding ring.

Benefits for married service members include college tuition for a spouse and the right of a spouse to be at a wounded service member's bedside. Spouses also have access to military health care and commissaries worldwide, and married service members receive better housing and even extra pay when they go to war.

The ticket to qualifying for those benefits is a marriage certificate. Heterosexual couples have a choice whether to marry, but same-sex marriages are legal in only five states and Washington, D.C. Whether same-sex partnerships would be recognized by the military and what benefits might be afforded gay couples would become issues if the ban were lifted.

Repealing the ban without offering same-sex partner benefits would be like telling gay service members they are equal but not giving them all the advantages of service, said Tiffany Belle, 33, of Long Beach, Calif., a lesbian and former sailor. "You're basically letting us be free being ourselves in the military, but then you're not letting us reap the benefits."

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Nathaniel Frank, a senior research fellow at the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said it's unrealistic to think the military would be out front of the rest of the government in offering benefits to unmarried partners.

But, in addition to repealing "don't ask, don't tell," Obama has called for getting rid of the Defense of Marriage Act and has moved to extend some federal benefits to same-sex partners.

Obama has approved small changes in benefits available to same-sex couples who work for the federal government
, such as visitation and dependent-care rights. The State Department extended benefits to gay diplomats, such as the right for their domestic partners to hold diplomatic passports and for paid travel to and from foreign posts.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Don't forget the Census legitimization of homosexuality.

From "Pentagon eases policy on gays, rebukes a general" by Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times 3/26/10

. . . changes announced by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will make it more difficult to expel gays.

It was the first big step of a yearlong process. For the rest of the year, a task force is to study what the military needs to do to repeal the ban. Discharges will continue under the law during the review.

Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also took the unusual step of publicly chastising a three-star general for urging troops and their families to oppose the repeal.

Mullen said that remarks by Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, the commander of U.S. Army forces in the Pacific who urged opposition in a letter to a newspaper, were "inappropriate."

In the weeks since, the leaders of the major military branches all have testified before Congress about the ban. While none endorsed repeal as explicitly as Mullen, only Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, said it should stay in place.

However, senior military leaders were surprised by a letter to the editor earlier this month by Lt. Gen. Mixon.

In a letter to Stars and Stripes, a Pentagon-owned newspaper that is run independently, Mixon urged service members to write their elected officials and chain of command and oppose repeal.

"If there is a policy direction that someone in uniform disagrees with . . . you feel strongly about it, the answer is not advocacy, it is in fact to vote with your feet," Mullen said, suggesting Mixon ought to resign.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

(Shhh . . . the church is sleeping -- too many pastors are silent).