Perkins: Gays in the Military Violate Religious Rights of Others

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.

44 thoughts on “Perkins: Gays in the Military Violate Religious Rights of Others”

  1. Buckeye: “I worked as a civilian in Army and Air Force offices back in the 50′s and 60′s and there was never anything like this around then – at least that I knew of. … but it would be interesting to know when this fundamentalism started gaining ground.”


    I know what you mean about it being a recent trend. I’ve read that it started in earnest in the 80’s with the Republicans looking for a solid Southern base and a permanent majority and the Evangelical movement looking for more political power to enforce a christian values agenda on the country.

    There was a lot of Democratic support in the South 40-50 years ago; not liberal support but Dixiecrat support. The late 60’s changed everything. Between the civil rights movement, Viet Nam and economic constriction the country took a hard right with the Republicans being the beneficiary. The country went red in ’72 and started going blue in ’76 and thereafter plans were made to consolidate a Republican revolution.

    I looked up my PurpleAmerica link the voting (by county) and they have a time-lapse of voting by Party from ’64 through 2008. It’s well worth having a look at:

    It is worrisome that the Pentagon and the armed services are increasingly controlled by rapture-loving evangelicals.

  2. Oh this is so funny. The military (because of leftists) are always kowtowing to Muslims. Let’s see them squirm out of this.

  3. You know he seems like such a nice young man…actually he is a poster child for the religious sociopath…these folks are insane…and basically that is the story…there is now a causal relationship between the christian missionaries and anti gay laws in some African communities…spread the love and the word of the bible…except to your gay and lesbian children…it’s pretty frightening…

  4. Well, who wouldn’t be worried about their “precious bodily fluid”s? I mean afer all…

    Kubrick and Sellers – what a combination!

  5. Buckeye,


  6. There have been gays in the military since the Trojan War. Get over it.

    Also, the Coast Guard is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Defense. I have friend in the Coast Guard reserves who was called up for 60 days to do something in the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. LK

    I worked as a civilian in Army and Air Force offices back in the 50’s and 60’s and there was never anything like this around then – at least that I knew of.

    Not sure when it started, though anti-semitic bigotry has been around for centuries, as Mr. Weinstein knows, but it would be interesting to know when this fundamentalism started gaining ground.

    I find it chilling and am wondering just how far these fanatical officers would go to see their vision of the world come to pass.

    Shades of General Jack D. Ripper!

  8. Lottakatz said:

    “I was the only person on base banned from his office (even in a formal capacity) and I couldn’t have been happier if he had bestowed a medal upon me. It was a distinction which I still recall with some pride”

    As well you should!

  9. LK,

    I hate this phrase but it so fits that story:

    You go girl!

  10. Buckeye, thanks for the link. Things change slowly in the military without strong civilian leadership and direction.

    In about ’97 I worked at a DOD agency that was commanded by an AF Colonel. He was was a born again, proselytizing, Evangelical christian. He took every opportunity to inject his flavor of Christian into formal and informal activities and went so far as to have an ‘informal’ prayer circle among the management and allowing evangelicals to stand in the lobby and hand out material.

    My position was protected so I challenged him on this whenever it touched my area of responsibility; the lobby guys got to stand in the lobby for about 15 minutes after I got on the phone about it to other responsible parties, and they never came back. Working for him was a regularly appalling situation due to his religious aggression. I was the only person on base banned from his office (even in a formal capacity) and I couldn’t have been happier if he had bestowed a medal upon me. It was a distinction which I still recall with some pride 😉

  11. I tend to think that a heterosexual adulterer could pose just as much of a health risk (and maybe more) than a homosexual.

  12. eniobob, thanks for the link. I’m not an expert on federal appellate procedure, but something seriously smells here. If a majority of the judges of the Fifth Circuit are disqualified from ruling on the merits, why were they not also disqualified from quashing the ruling by the original three-judge panel? It seems to me that the original ruling should stand. I assume a cert petition is in the works. Due process shouldn’t be denied because of mass recusals. What a pathetic result.

  13. I think perhaps Perkins is right. Christian shouldn’t be allowed in the military. They are a disruptive influence, will unset the morale of our gay personnel with their fantacies and outrageous, unfounded beliefs.

  14. Off topic but it seems as if some rights were violated here also:

    Appeals court can’t rehear Katrina greenhouse-gas suit because of judges’ recusals
    By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune
    June 01, 2010, 11:18PM
    Chris Granger / The Times-Picayune archiveThe appeal of a federal lawsuit against energy companies, claiming their emission of greenhouse gasses exaccerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina, was denied a rehearing because too many judges on the appeals panel recused themselves.So many members of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals have recused themselves from a rehearing of a lawsuit that charges energy companies with contributing to the effects of Hurricane Katrina by emitting greenhouse gases that the court cannot conduct the rehearing.

  15. I don’t get it. Whatever happened to equal justice under the law? This is the 21’st Century, everyone in this country regardless of their race, color, religion or non-religious beliefs or gender or sign or favorite color should have equal rights under the law. How can this ridiculous religious nonsense be legal??? What happened to separation of church and state? I should not have the right to restrict your rights because of my religious beliefs and you should just flat out leave me alone.

  16. Anonymously Yours: “… We all know to well the GOP stance and actual practice of Family Values.”

    And a wide stance it is.

    Somehow, in response to Perkins lament, a very tough looking DI should inform him that when the Army wants him to have religious, or any other kinds of rights, they will be issued to him. Just say’n 🙂

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