Defense & National Security

Murphy’s (LGBT) Law for the Military

Representative Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) has launched a high-powered Gays in the Military Campaign, or GIMC, for short. Starting with a July 8 news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the multi-million dollar “Voices of Honor” tour has scheduled media events in at least seven cities.  

The Human Rights Campaign, billed as the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization, is supporting Murphy’s GIMC, together with Servicemembers United, a group that periodically stages media events to push for gays in the military.

Murphy has replaced former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) as the new lead sponsor of H.R. 1283, a bill that would repeal the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military.  That law, Section 654, Title 10, frequently is mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  Murphy’s bill would replace the 1993 statute with a new law forbidding discrimination in the military “based on homosexuality or bisexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived.”  

The open-ended language in “Murphy’s New LGBT Law” would mandate accommodation of professed (not discrete) sexual minorities in all branches and communities of the military to include Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces, Navy SEALs, and submarines.  This would be tantamount to ordering military women to live with men in close quarters offering little or no privacy on a constant basis.  

According to Murphy, anyone who questions the wisdom of this unprecedented social experiment is somehow “insulting” the professionalism of our troops.  On the contrary, thoughtful observers are questioning the judgment of policy makers.

And there’s every reason to expect that under Murphy’s New LGBT Law — just like the original Murphy’s Law — everything that can go wrong likely will go wrong.  

America’s military is the best in the world, but various types of sexual misconduct still occur. Men and women are human, and therefore imperfect.  Homosexuals are no more perfect than anyone else. Sound military personnel policies encourage discipline rather than indiscipline, but Murphy’s New LGBT Law would have the opposite effect.   

If Congress passes Murphy’s New LGBT Law, the armed forces would have to disregard the normal human desire for modesty and privacy in sexual matters. Unprecedented male/male and female/female sexual tensions will ensue, but the military will try to override them with mandatory sensitivity training courses. Corollary “zero tolerance” policies would deny promotions and end the careers of thousands of military personnel who disagree for any reason.  

Several former military, now-gay activists are joining Congressman Murphy in playing up personal stories that involve circumvention of current law. The Defense Department, unfortunately, keeps misleading homosexuals about their eligibility to serve.  The comparatively few discharges due to homosexuality could approach zero if Pentagon officials correctly explained the meaning and purpose of the 1993 law.    

Gay activists are pleased to associate with Patrick Murphy, a former Army lawyer and veteran of the Iraq War.  According to his 2008 autobiography Taking the Hill, Murphy completed ROTC training, was commissioned as an officer, and graduated from a law school in Pennsylvania.  

As a Judge Advocate General (JAG), he was assigned to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he provided routine legal assistance to cadets and later taught constitutional law.  Murphy boasted in his book that he became “part of the Long Grey Line,” even though that designation is reserved for USMA graduates only.

Murphy later joined the 82nd Airborne and was jump-qualified as a paratrooper. In June 2003 he deployed to Iraq with a Brigade Operational Law Team (BOLT) for seven months and received a Bronze Star. The citation praised his unit for lawful operations, and saluted Murphy for handling two prosecutions of Baghdad citizens and over 1,129 financial claims brought by Iraqis who suffered damages during combat operations. (Murphy frequently mentions soldiers breaking down doors, but his primary mission was to settle the claims of civilians whose doors had been broken down.)

In 2006 Murphy successfully ran for Congress as an anti-war candidate.  As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he participated in a hearing on the issue on gays in the military in July 2008.  I testified at that hearing, together with retired Sgt. Maj. Brian Jones, a former Ranger and Delta Force soldier who rescued fallen colleagues in the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu, Somalia.  

I tried to present comprehensive testimony on the history and purpose of the 1993 law and the consequences of repeal.  But Murphy and other committee members demonstrated little concern about predictable problems.  Instead, they diverted attention from serious issues by trying to bully me with derogatory comments or questions.  Their dismissive behavior proved my point about intolerance in the name of “tolerance.”  

One year later, Murphy’s GIMC is on the road, still not presenting any credible arguments for repeal of the 1993 law.  Nor do participants explain how legislation forcing the gay agenda on the military would strengthen morale and team cohesion.  There is no “national security” argument for a misguided law that would cause thousands of good people to avoid, leave, or be forced out of military communities, grades and skills that are not easily replaceable.   

In recent weeks, openly-gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) proposed defense authorization bill amendments to suspend enforcement of the 1993 law.  Both withdrew their measures in exchange for promised  hearings in the fall.  Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) concedes insufficient support for Murphy’s repeal bill, but he is working toward a successful vote early in 2010.  

Despite intense pressure from President Barack Obama and liberal media, serious members of Congress will defend the cultural factors that make our military superior. They will not pass Murphy’s New LGBT Law, which would put at risk recruiting, retention, and overall readiness — the “3 Rs” necessary to maintain America’s superior All-Volunteer Force. 


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