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Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz: Gay soldiers have lowered military morale

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz: Gay soldiers have lowered military morale

SenatorCruz says the US military is being used 'as a cauldron for social experimentation'

Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has said that allowing gay people to serve openly in the military has contributed to a drop in morale among troops.

In a conference call with E.W Jackson, former GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, shared on YouTube, Cruz was highly critical of the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, calling it ‘illegitimate’, ‘lawless’, and ‘utterly contrary to the Constitution’.

At one point, Jackson says, ‘the military is beset with these new LGBT rules and I’m just hearing terrible things.’

Cruz agrees, saying, ‘You look at the military and one of the things we’ve seen is morale in the military under the Obama administration has plummeted, and it has plummeted because you have a commander-in-chief that doesn’t support our soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines, you have a commander-in-chief that doesn’t stand up against our enemies, that won’t even acknowledge or say the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ and you have a commander-in-chief that treats the military as a cauldron for social experimentation.

‘He’s more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military than he is in defeating our enemy.

‘For example, the military is now focused on trying to promote transgendered [sic] soldiers.

‘The role of the military is not to be some left-wing social experiment.

‘I would stop the shameless politicizing of our military to push a left-wing agenda that is contrary to the values and contrary to who we are as an American people and a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values.’

Cruz has frequently spoken out against same-sex marriage and rights for LGBT people. In 2012, he said that he indicated that he believed being gay is a choice.

His comments have been slammed by Matthew Thorn, the executive director of OutServe-SLDN – an organization for LGBT members of the military.

In a statement today, Thorn said that LGBT military members deserved an apology from Cruz and that the organization he represents was, ‘Shocked to hear that Mr. Cruz made such hateful and disparaging statements about LGBT people who serve our country as members of the United States military.

‘This behavior is not fitting for a member of the United States Senate, let alone a candidate for the office of President of the United States and Commander in Chief.

‘It is fundamentally and grossly disrespectful to malign anyone who is willing to risk their life to serve and protect the citizens of this country. They deserve honor and recognition for their service, not a politician or presidential candidate who belittles them in order to gain points on a conference call.

‘It is especially concerning when he purports to stand for freedom, but is willing to degrade members of our military who fight to uphold that freedom.’

His viewpoint was echoed by a spokesperson for HRC.

‘Particularly as our nation confronts the threat of terrorism, it’s unbelievably reckless and irresponsible for Ted Cruz to even hint that he would bring back the archaic discrimination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ said HRC spokesperson Stephen Peters, a Marine Corps veteran discharged under DADT.

‘Cruz is dangerously committed to taking us backward to a time when we denied qualified people from serving and wasted taxpayers’ money by discharging highly trained service members simply because of their sexual orientation.’

The US military’s controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) policy was introduced in 1993 and repealed in 2011. In that time, almost 14,000 gay people were dismissed from the military because of their sexuality. Since its repeal, thousands of service men and women have come out as gay.

A 2012 study concluded that the repeal of DADT had had, ‘no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment, or morale. If anything, DADT repeal appears to have enhanced the military’s ability to pursue its mission.’

Gay military personnel have been granted permission to wear their uniforms at Pride marches across the US, and last month, President Obama appointed Eric Fanning as Acting United States Secretary of the Army – making him the most high-profile gay person in the military.

Earlier this year the US Defense Department ordered a review on lifting the ban on openly transgender people serving in the military. The ban is due to be lifted in May 2016.

 

H/T: Right Wing Watch.