President Barack Obama signed the funding authorization bill for the Department of Defense which includes “protections” against the punishment of military members and clergy who harass gay soldiers.
Under the language, the U.S. military would have to “accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs of the members of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality”
The president included a signing statement which indicates his objection to the anti-gay portion of the bill. But signed it nevertheless.
Section 533 is an unnecessary and ill-advised provision, as the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and service members. The Secretary of Defense will ensure that the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct. My Administration remains fully committed to continuing the successful implementation of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and to protecting the rights of gay and lesbian service members; Section 533 will not alter that.
One step forward, two steps back….
So, now the government sanctions abuse and harassment, all in the name of religion and belief and military bigots will be protected from adverse personnel actions if they claim “sincerely held religious beliefs,” but, apparently, that same belief may justify the bigot putting an obstacle in the way of the career advancement of a gay service member.
Oe has to wonder if Obama would sign the same bill if it provided “protections” against the punishment of military members and clergy who harass women, jewish, or black soldiers.
Actually you don’t have to wonder because he never would and there would be outrage from around the world if he did.