Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, has a curious take in a CNN column on why Congress should retain the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy: allowing openly gay personnel in the military violates his religious rights.
Perkins insists that this is not about the rights of gay personnel but the anti-gay personnel in the military:
Some people think allowing open homosexuality in the military means nothing more than opening a door that was previously closed. It means much more than that. It would mean simultaneously ushering out the back door anyone who disapproves of homosexual conduct, whether because of legitimate privacy and health concerns or because of moral or religious convictions.
This outcome is almost inevitable, because pro-homosexual activists have made it clear that merely lifting the “ban” on openly homosexual military personnel will not satisfy them.
Of course, a similar argument could have been used to bar women and blacks for those personnel with deep-seated racists and sexist views, including religious based views. Under this logic, any such groups could be barred to prevent conflicts with religious values. Perkins does not seem to care if his group is a small minority — they appear to have the dominant claim.
Perkins also neglects to acknowledge that you can still be anti-homosexual in your private life — you simply cannot engage in discriminatory conduct at work. As for his “health concerns,” Perkins may wish to elaborate how gays in the military (who are already present in the ranks) pose such a health risk.
For the column, click here.