Democratic chairman of House military affairs opposes any change to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Another item on Barack Obama’s agenda is in doubt. This from the Army Times:

In a new complication for President Obama’s push to allow gays to serve openly in the military, the House Armed Services Committee chairman says he is “personally … against” any change in law.

The opposition from Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., is not unexpected; he played a key role in blocking the Clinton administration from lifting the military’s gay ban in 1993. What is surprising is that Skelton is ready to directly fight attempts to include a repeal of the gay ban in the 2011 defense authorization bill.

On the C-SPAN Newsmaker program, which aired Sunday, Skelton said his committee’s military personnel panel will hold one or more hearings on the issue, which would open the door for debate but would not necessarily lead to an amendment to the defense bill.

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72 comments Add your comment

Mom Pays Taxes

January 19th, 2010
10:48 am

Well, if gay citizens cannot obtain marriage licenses from the courthouse the way their straight neighbors do, and they cannot serve openly in the US Military, then the only equitable thing to do is to STOP COLLECTING TAXES from them. Sales taxes would still be okay, I suppose, but let them check the little box on the form and exempt them from all income and property taxes until such time as they are treated as the citizens they are.

Rep. Skelton? Good readers of the AJC? Can we all agree on this?

Emily

January 19th, 2010
10:58 am

Why do we have to cater to gay people? Its a choice to be gay. Just because they cant obtain marriage licenses and serve in the military doesnt mean they shouldnt have to pay taxes. I dont think we need a bunch of gay people runing around the military with rainbow flags yelling pride. It isnt good for our nation and sets a bad example. Just my opinion.

Mom Pays Taxes

January 19th, 2010
11:07 am

Emily, maybe we should void your rights as well. After all, I don’t think we need a bunch of uptight straight women running around yelling “It’s a choice to be gay.” Maybe you’re right, and opinions ARE more important than equal treatment under the law.

Jeff Pruett

January 19th, 2010
11:13 am

Another example of the Obama administration imploding. Obama is is making Jimmy Cater look like FDR.
I’ve filled with disgust by their performance!

Chuck

January 19th, 2010
11:21 am

Emily, You will NEVER have to cater to me. Also, I did not CHOOSE to be attacted to men. But I am, and I am happy with it. The bunch of gay people you mention are already in the military. They are fighting for YOUR freedom and this is the thanks you give them?

JF

January 19th, 2010
11:25 am

If we don’t see some form of federal recognition of same-sex unions OR the end of DADT, I’ll actively campaign for Ron Paul in 2012.

Ray Pugh

January 19th, 2010
11:27 am

JF,

Maybe you should have in 2008….

NativeAtlantan

January 19th, 2010
11:30 am

I hate to disappoint, but I’ve known since the 5th grade that I was gay. There was no “choice” involved, I simply wasn’t attracted to girls. I’ve been in a loving, monogamous committed relationship now for 23 years. We both work for fortune 100 companies and pay our share of taxes — actually, more than our share given we have to file individually. Looking at or talking to us, you’d probably not suspect we’re gay except we are older and not married.

And, I’m to believe there is something wrong with this?

Wounded Warrior

January 19th, 2010
11:32 am

You don’t need to worry while in a foxhole if your buddy is trying to hit on you while bullets are whizzing by your head. Don’t care about what people are, just don’t do it around me. You can be gay in the military, you can’t act on it, or get caught doing it.

I am straight, and enjoyed combat very much. Nothing in civilian life compares to it.

Alex

January 19th, 2010
11:36 am

@Emily: Your bigotry is astounding! why dont you crawl back to abortion-bucket from where you came, you homophobe.

Anyway, moving on, it is clear that the USA is behind on this issue. Almost all European countries and even Israel allow gays to serve openly in the army and are great, if not better, because of it.

Someone needs to take the USA out of the Dark Ages, they are embarrassing the rest of us Westerners with their draconian, conservative and backward ideologies,

Mom Pays Taxes

January 19th, 2010
11:37 am

Now let’s be fair. Perhaps being a small-minded, self-righteous bigot isn’t a choice either. Maybe they’re born that way.

Let’s ask the small-minded, self-righteious bigots: Hey y’all, is hating your neighbor because he’s different a CHOICE you made, or were you born that way? Please tell us!

Chuck

January 19th, 2010
11:44 am

@ Mom: Nice!

Emily

January 19th, 2010
11:45 am

Marriage is about giving the children they make legitimate. The only reason people should get married is to reproduce. Gay people have domestic partners, they have rights. Just because there is a law saying gay people cant get married doesnt mean you dont have rights. Why does the government have to be involved with peoples choice of who they decide to have sex with anyway? And as far as the military goes, it isnt about being gay or straight. Its about defending our country, killing and breaking things. If its not broke, not fix it!!! Im done, so you dont have to direct anymore comments to me. Thanks!

Emily

January 19th, 2010
11:48 am

Oh yeah, Im not a bigot and I dont hate gay people. I love that you guys always use that as a cop-out though for not wanting to fight fair and being way to overly sensitive. Relax, do what you do in your bedrooms and leave it at that.

T.A.

January 19th, 2010
11:48 am

LOL @ Mom Pays Taxes. I love your statement. I think we can say that Ms. Emily has not worked with a gay person to see that these people are just as human as she is. However, people like her are the ones you cannot reason with. There will always be people in this world that you cannot reason with as they will believe they are right. If she’s bigoted, that is her… however, hopefully one day she will see it before she really embarrasses herself in public.

T.A.

January 19th, 2010
11:54 am

@Emily: Marriage is technically a contract between two people. I don’t see how these people have made it into some institution that is limited to only heterosexuals. If two men love each other or two women love each other, then hell, they should be allowed to marry, not to be joined together by a mere civil union.

The term civil union is similar to how black people were considered to be subhuman back in antebellum times. You people are creating a separate category for gay people that is demeaning and disrespectful at the least and grossly repugnant and ignorant at most. The thin veiled attempt to give rights through civil unions but deny marriage is nothing more than tacky way of saying you’re not normal like everyone else so you should not have the right to marriage. There is blatant hypocrisy here that needs to be rectified.

NativeAtlantan

January 19th, 2010
11:54 am

Wow Emily…I actually thought you had some sense until that last post..

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
12:00 pm

“not to be joined together by a mere civil union”

If civil union had all the same rights as a traditional marriage, would y’all still complain? Why do y’all insist on re-defining the word, marriage?

Mom Pays Taxes

January 19th, 2010
12:11 pm

Peadawg, there are several hundred differences between the rights you obtain automatically, (a bundled package, if you will) when you purchase a marriage license for a small fee from your county courthouse, and the “civil union” rights that are available to couples who must pay thousand$ to lawyers to make that happen. Fruit is fruit, but apples ain’t oranges.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
12:15 pm

Mom Pays Taxes,

You didn’t even answer my question. I asked IF. I agree that they don’t offer the same now, but IF. Try again.

Swede Atlanta

January 19th, 2010
12:16 pm

Emily, either you are just posting to get a reaction or you truly live under a rock.

1. Being gay is NOT a choice – despite what some religious fanatics want to believe, I did not choose to be gay. Did you choose to be straight?

2. Military service – at a time when our nation needs highly-qualified soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, we are dismissing thousands of GLBT persons from the military. If they had not been doing their job they would have been reprimanded or dismissed. Military discipline doesn’t allow for the kinds of public displays you describe.

3. Pride
It is certainly much easier today to live an openly gay lifestyle than it was when I came out several decades ago, but we still live in fear for our lives due to homophobes who feel it is their right to beat up or kill someone simply for being who they are, protections against discrimination in employment, housing, etc. still doesn’t exist for many GLBT persons, etc. So when GLBT people gather annually to celebrate Pride or have a rainbow flag it is as much to step out publicly and acknowledge that we have a right to be who we are. Once we no longer are treated differently, that need will go away.

4. Marriage
Marriage in this country is a civil, not a religious matter. Our society only recognizes a marriage if it is acknowledged by a marriage certificate. The same applies to divorce. You don’t go to church to get a divorce.

Why should our relationships be treated differently than yours. You claim marriage has only ever been for pro-creation. That may have been in some part true in the past but not today. There are many heterosexual couples who marry that have no intentions of ever having children. Marriage, as an act of partnering, is society’s recognition of the value of a loving relationship between two persons, whether or not they have children or not.

Even if they were allowed in Georgia, Civil Unions are not the same as marriage and they do not confer the same rights. Even under the most generous civil union laws in the nation, individuals are denied survivor interests in a deceased partner, tax treatment from income tax to gift tax, etc. are treated differently.

Why not let two consenting adults who are prepared to not only enjoy the benefits of marriage but also take on the responsibilities, marry?

The arguments about a slippery slope are completly misplaced. This will not lead to people wanting to marry their dog, for example. To the extent a marriage is a contract, animals lack the legal right to contract.

Grayghost

January 19th, 2010
12:18 pm

I don’t care if a person is the smartist personalive and are qay than they are sick and no country should reconize any form of union or marriage, thats also sick. having these sick’os in the military would create on heck of a problem ans should never happen. If they wont to be gay than no public reconition should afforded them. the wourld would be better off without them!!!!!!!

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

January 19th, 2010
12:21 pm

In 2010 does it matter what one’s sexual identity is? “Why” indeed “does the government have to be involved with peoples choice of who they decide to have sex with anyway?” Why do some of us want to tell everyone else what they can be and what choices they can make? Isn’t marriage supposed to be about more than having legitimate children: love, companionship, building a live? I really don’t care about your personal, intimate life or how you choose to die. So why do you care about others’ sex lives, birth control, or end of life choices? What if you had to live as I dictated and it was different from your beliefs? Just get over it and try to make a contribution to society instead of pushing your values and beliefs onto others.

Mom Pays Taxes

January 19th, 2010
12:22 pm

Peadawg, my apologies for misunderstanding. I can’t answer that question, as I am straight.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
12:26 pm

Ok, so can someone answer my 12:00pm question? I’m just curious as to what the answer would be.

Swede Atlanta

January 19th, 2010
12:29 pm

Peadawg – I can answer your question. No. I think we learned in Brown v. Board of Education that ’separate’ is not the same as equal.

Rather than trying to give us something that is not marriage (i.e. ’separate’) why not allow us to participate in the CIVIL act of marriage? What are you afraid of? It appears that if you are willing to consider giving civil unions the same legal force as marriage that the only possible reason you have against marriage equality is so that you can have something special that you want to deny us.

Same-gender marriage is now legal in 5 states, Canada and several European countries. Society has not fallen apart. Marriages between men and women have not been destroyed. The Lutheran Church in Sweden, which previously allowed pastors to bless same-gender unions and civil marriages, starts to perform same-gender marriages this year. Individual pastors will not be forced to perform them.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
12:46 pm

“Same-gender marriage is now legal in 5 states, Canada and several European countries”

Then why don’t all the gays move there? If you don’t like it, then leave…isn’t that what people say a lot of the time.

John K

January 19th, 2010
12:53 pm

In my opinion, Emily’s choice of lifestyle goes against the American way of life. I don’t agree with her choice in relationships, or who she chooses to love. I support a law to keep her from engaging in her perverted acts.

John K

January 19th, 2010
12:54 pm

Peadawg, the only people who say that are people who wish to deny others their rights.

T.A.

January 19th, 2010
12:54 pm

@Peadawg… Marriage is not being redefined but instead being inclusive to those that are different than you. If you haven’t seen a marriage certificate before, it is essentially a contract between two people. Allowing gays is not redefining marriage but instead saying that they too can engage in a contract with each other and have the same benefits as a heterosexual couple.

Obviously there are people that do not see that marriage is a contract. Look at divorces and how that those without a pre-nuptial (A CONTRACT) has claim to the assets they had together and separately. Think about when a company breaches a contract. They could be liable for compensatory, punitive, and other damages. When people engage in divorce, the assets are shared in some form or another. This goes to show that marriage is a contract, regardless of what people say otherwise.

Swede Atlanta

January 19th, 2010
12:55 pm

Peadawg,

Why should I have to move somewhere else? I was born in this country and deserve the same equal protection of the law as anyone else.

All I am asking is for my country to treat me the same way it treats you. I should not be asked to go somewhere else.

When same-gender marriage is recognized in this country, and it eventually will be….don’t know if it will be in my lifetime…would you then move to Iran since they really hate “the gay”?

God Bless America

January 19th, 2010
12:56 pm

As a Christian; I realize I’m far from perfect, not free from sin myself, and certainly in no place to judge anyone else. Theres is only one judge. That said; Christians are not trying to judge, or persecute anyone in their defense of marriage. Marriage is a biblical institution between one man and one woman, that has been sanctioned by the states, to strenghhen the family unit. I’m all for civil unions; with all the legal and financial benefits associated with marriage. The gay community does itself no favors with the vitriol against Christians for standing up for what they believe.

I personally don’t believe anyone is born gay; instead that it’s a lifestyle choice or deviant behavior, often influenced by a traumatic childhood (not always). Are pedophiles BORN with a desire for young children; OF COURSE NOT! I realize a HUGE difference between these two examples; most gay relationships are between consenting adults, rather than the horrific crime of stealing the innocence from a young child. God doesn’t create sinners; sin is a result man’s choices in life.

sane jane

January 19th, 2010
12:56 pm

Peadawg says: “Why do y’all insist on re-defining the word, marriage?”

sane jane says: You’ve got to be pretty naive to think that marriage hasn’t been redefined over the years. It has been within our lifetime that interracial marriage has become legal in many states.

Historically marriage is a contract that unifies two families, consolidates land and holdings, etc. Historically arranged by patriarchs & matriarchs, not the bride and groom.

Only those who were too poor to own land married out of love.

the idea of everybody marrying out of love is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Chuck

January 19th, 2010
12:58 pm

Peadawg, how would you feel if you had to move to a different state just to have equal rights? Nevermind, I know exactly how it feels.

T.A.

January 19th, 2010
1:00 pm

@John K… good point. Part of the problem is that people can’t understand why gay people are how they are and therefore have their own conclusions about them which are obviously incorrect and misinformed. Therefore, they believe that they should not have the rights that other citizens have… and that by itself is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

The obvious argument is ‘if gay people had a choice to be gay, they would not choose to be so because of the ridicule and hatred directed at them.’ Obviously this argument isn’t enough for those who say that being gay is a choice. Nobody wants to be ridiculed or hated and thus why would gay people subject themselves to that IF they had a choice? I believe they don’t have a choice in their sexual orientation. Since it is beyond their control, no heterosexual person should deny them their civil rights.

@Peadawg: did you choose to be short? did you choose to be tall? did you choose to be white, black, latino, asian, etc? If you answered ALL of these questions no, then how would you like it if laws were put in saying you couldn’t have civil rights of others because you were something you could not control? That’s the same issue with gays.

If that’s not clear enough, then we need not have a discussion. Done deal.

sane jane

January 19th, 2010
1:03 pm

And sorry GBA, marriage is NOT a biblical institution. (at least, not a Christian one)

Christianity is only 2,000ish years old. Marriage is MUCH older than that.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
1:05 pm

You chose the lifestyle T.A., live with it. Just like so-and-so chose to be a pedophile. Just like so-and-so chose to be a pervert. Just like so-and-so chose to be a murder, robber, etc. etc.

f that’s not clear enough, then we need not have a discussion. Done deal.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
1:06 pm

“Marriage is MUCH older than that.”

How can that be if God created the universe only 2,000ish years ago? hhhmmmm….do you need to go back to elementary school for basic math???

Chiming in

January 19th, 2010
1:07 pm

Peadawg,

To me, personally, I don’t care what you call it….civil union…marriage…whatever. But I have a question for you.
How would you feel about the following being true.

If a couple, heterosexual or homosexual wants all of the civil benefits currently given to a “married” couple, have them go to the court house and sign some papers and form the contract….called a “civil union”

and If a couple wants to get “married” they go to their religious institution of choice and get married, BUT…”marriage” would only be a religious commitment and would NOT give you the civil benefits. Just as the “civil union” would not mean you were a “married couple”.

That way, “marriage” would return to being a “holy institution” and the federal government would no longer be asked to “protect the sanctity of marriage”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my government attempting to protect the “sanctity” of anything. That is not their job.

you want civil benefits….go to your court house and get a civil union.
you want a marriage….go to your religious institution.

Would that be a fair compromise to you?

John K

January 19th, 2010
1:08 pm

you’re seriously equating homosexuality with pedophilia, murder, etc? Are you actually saying in a homosexual relationship one person is a victim and the other a perp? Or that murder, pedophilia, etc. are consensual acts?

T.A.

January 19th, 2010
1:10 pm

@God Bless America: Everyone is entitled to their own point of view. However, I have seen this time and time again that Christians (and I am one too but I have different opinions than my fellow brethren) throw vitriol (the word you used) at gay people. Christians can stand up for what they believe because this is America. However, the tone that Christians use in denigrating gay people is unacceptable and not Christ-like. How do you expect gay people to treat Christians with any respect when Christians aren’t willing to give any? The condemnations that some conservative Christians dish out to gay people is most certainly a sin in itself, as these people are taking the place of God.

The true Christians are those who no matter what their other brethren in humanity do, they will treat them with respect. You can say “I don’t feel what you are doing is right” without saying “You’re going to hell for being gay.” If you believe you have an obligation to let someone know what they are doing is wrong, there is a tactful way of saying it without being pretentious and hateful. If you’re not going to say things in a tactful way, then you’re better off not saying anything at all.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
1:11 pm

Chiming in, I think a VERY FAIR compromise is to do what’s been suggested many times before. Give marriage and civil unions the same benefits. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

John K, I’m equating it to being a choice like all the other things I listed.

MarkR in Athens, GA

January 19th, 2010
1:12 pm

Poor Peadawg. Since he chose to be straight, that must mean he was also attracted to people of the same sex, and just chose not to sleep with them. It must really suck to have to criticize yourself, huh Peadawg?

John K

January 19th, 2010
1:15 pm

Really Peadawg? You’re equating it to being a choice? So you used pedophilia and murder instead of sweet/unsweet tea or coke/pepsi?

@MarkR LOL, May be true about Peadawg. What’s the saying “he who protests too much?”

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
1:16 pm

MarkR, many people think people of the same sex are attractive, have a nice body, look beautiful in that dress, etc. It doesn’t mean you have to act on them.

God Bless America

January 19th, 2010
1:16 pm

John K, I didn’t equate homosexuality with murder, but did with pedophilia (with the exception one is between consenting adults, the other is illegal and horrific). Both are chosen behavior in my opinion; is the pedophile born that way? Why would they chose this behavior?

I think it’s an equally silly arguement gays are born that way!

sane jane

January 19th, 2010
1:16 pm

Peadawg, who in their right mind thinks the entire universe is only two thousand years old?

That kind of ignorance is stupefying.

Chiming in

January 19th, 2010
1:16 pm

Question: Why does whether it is a chosen lifestyle matter?

We chose our religion. Some religions believe that others are doomed to hell for not believing as them. But in the USA, no matter the religion, we all have the same rights.

Some folks don’t like vegetables, or fruits, or watching sports, or certain kinds of music. But in the USA, we all have the same rights.

Just because you don’t like homosexuality does NOT mean you have the right to discriminate against those that are gay. My rights should not be determined by your interpretation of your translation of your holy book. There needs to be other reasons. None of which other then “because my bible tells me so”, holds any water.

Swede Atlanta

January 19th, 2010
1:17 pm

God Bless America, thank you for at least supporting civil unions.

Two points

1. Marriage did not originate in the Bible more than it originated on the plains of Mongolia. While it is true that most faith traditions honor notions of marriage, saying that marriage is a Biblical creation is untruthful. Marriage came to the U.S. as part of English family law, not the Church. You can marry in a church, synogogue or mosque in the U.S. but it is not legally recognized without the civil marriage certificate. The same is true of divorce.

Remember that the definition of marriage and who was allowed to marry has changed with society, most recently when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not prevent persons of different races to marry.

Secondly, when you have walked in my shoes then you can have an opinion on whether being gay is a choice. Did you choose to be straight? I can assure you that had this been a choice I would not have chosen to be gay given the challenges it creates in life.

Modern science and psychology has debunked the myths of traditional beliefs about the “cause” of homosexuality, i.e. trauma, over-bearing mother, etc. Scientific studies show that same-gender attraction exists in most species. Further studies of families, especially multiple births, strongly suggests a genetic causation.

Peadawg

January 19th, 2010
1:19 pm

“Just because you don’t like homosexuality does NOT mean you have the right to discriminate against those that are gay.”

I 100% AGREE WITH YOU. My goodness. Vegetarian or meat eater, Baptist or Catholic, Homosexual or straight, coke or pepsi, civil union or marriage, etc. etc. Get where I’m going with this? I’ve NEVER once said I would like to deny you the rights of a marriage.