Social Issues Stop Defense Spending Bill
Special Report - September 23, 2010
This week the U.S. Senate leadership failed to gather the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filabuster of a military spending bill that included radical changes in military policy on several social issues. The bill included three non-germane amendments that would have:
- forced taxpayers to pay for abortions on military bases
- provided amnesty to millions of illegal aliens (the Dream Act)
- undermined military readiness by repealing Congress’ 1993 law concerning homosexuals (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell),
The latter measure was enacted in 1993 during the early days of the Clinton administration, and it essentially prohibits the open practice of homosexuality in the U.S. military. The controversial provisions were attached to S.3454“National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011,” a defense-spending bill that is enacted annually by Congress. Proponents of the bill needed 60 votes to invoke cloture and avoid a Republican filibuster, and they were only able to get 56 (43 members of the Senateincluding every Republican membervoted “no” on the bill). Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) voted no, while Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) voted yes. Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) voted no in order to preserve the right to return to the issue later this year, possibly in the lame-duck session. According to National Public Radio, and other press reports, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has said that the Senate should wait to vote on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) repeal until after the Pentagon releases its review of the policy, which is expected in December.
Pro-family advocates applauded the Senators who voted against the Defense authorization bill and stopped the effort to repeal the DADT policy. “This is a victory for the men and women who serve our nation in uniform. At least for now they will not be used to advance a radical social agenda,” said Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins, in a statement.
The repeal of the DADT policy is a major goal for homosexual advocacy groups and their allies in Congress and the White House, and their efforts may now turn to the courts. A federal district judge ruled September 9 in the case Log Cabin v. United States that the policy is unconstitutional. President Obama has promised to work at the legislative level to repeal DADT, and the Department of Justice (DOJ), which typically would be required to defend U.S. law, is currently considering whether to appeal the district court ruling. On September 21, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national homosexual advocacy group, sent a letter U.S. Attorney General Erik Holder, urging the DOJ not to appeal. “We understand that the DOJ is currently evaluating whether to appeal this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” wrote HRC president, Joe Solomnese in the letter. “We appreciate the Administration’s support of the legislative efforts to repeal DADT, but we expect the DOJ to recognize the overwhelming evidence that proves DADT is unconstitutional.”
In July, NCPFC President Bill Brooks interviewed Daniel Heimbach, Ph.D., professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forestabout the DADT policy, and why it should not be repealed. Dr. Heimbach formerly served under President George H.W. Bush as Associate Director of Domestic Policy and Deputy Executive Secretary of the Domestic Policy Council, where he spearheaded the effort against normalizing homosexuality in the military, which led to the DADT policy. To listen to the 15-minute interview with Dr. Heimbach, choose your preferred format to download the program mp3 or wma or try our podcast.
Court Refuses "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Case - June 8, 2009
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