Simpson/Warner get it right – our (not so) “presidential” hopefuls don’t

March 15, 2007

 When these Republicans get it right, don’t we know we’re in trouble???

Bigotry That Hurts Our Military By Alan K. Simpson – March 14, 2007

As a lifelong Republican who served in the Army in Germany, I believe it is critical that we review — and overturn — the ban on gay service in the military. I voted for “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But much has changed since 1993.

My thinking shifted when I read that the military was firing translators because they are gay. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 300 language experts have been fired under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. This when even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently acknowledged the nation’s “foreign language deficit” and how much our government needs Farsi and Arabic speakers. Is there a “straight” way to translate Arabic? Is there a “gay” Farsi? My God, we’d better start talking sense before it is too late. We need every able-bodied, smart patriot to help us win this war….

The writer was a Republican senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997.complete op-ed

PRESIDENTIAL DISAPPOINTMENT: (excerpt from cap newsletter)

Presidential candidates of both parties have a bully pulpit to influence America’s debate. Yet the response to this recent controversy has been disappointing. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), who are aggressively courting the cultural right, have reaffirmed their support for banning openly gay Americans from military service. In 2000, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “I think if you want to serve the United States and you want put your life at risk, you should be judged on the merits. … There should not be a specific focus on someone’s sexual orientation“; but yesterday, he also shifted right, saying in a statement, “We’re at war and now isn’t the time to question our military’s admissions policy.” Even Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL), who both oppose “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and have otherwise taken strong stands on gay rights issues, refused at first to say that they disagreed that homosexuality is “immoral.” Asked by ABC News, Clinton said, “Well, I’m going to leave that to others to conclude.” Obama simply refused to answer the question after being asked several times. Thankfully, both senators later told reporters that they disagree with Pace’s claim. But Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, acknowledged that “he was concerned about the initial responses” of both senators. For his part, former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) said, “I don’t share that view,” when asked about Pace’s comments. But perhaps the most powerful statement came from Sen. John Warner (R-VA), a respected leader on military issues and former Armed Services Committee chairman, who said he “respectfully but strongly” disagrees that homosexuality is immoral.

“I don’t believe the United States armed forces should be the last institution in America that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.”Wes Clark on MTP Jan, 2004

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