In an op-ed published this morning in the Wall Street Journal, conservative former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr questions the position of every single Republican candidate for president on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and says that their response to a question on whether or not they would end the ban on gays in the military at last week’s debate offered “some troubling insight into the thinking of leading GOP candidates.” Barr says that DADT should go.
“As a conservative Republican member of Congress from 1995 to 2003, I was hardly a card-carrying member of the gay-rights lobby. I opposed then, and continue to oppose, same-sex marriage, or the designation of gays as a constitutionally protected minority class. Service in the armed forces is another matter. The bottom line here is that, with nearly a decade and a half of the hybrid “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to guide us, I have become deeply impressed with the growing weight of credible military opinion which concludes that allowing gays to serve openly in the military does not pose insurmountable problems for the good order and discipline of the services.
…Asked about reconsideration of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy in favor of a more open and honest approach, the simplistic responses by several Republican presidential candidates left me — and I suspect many others — questioning whether those candidates really even understood the issue, or were simply pandering to the perceived “conservative base.” The fact is, equal treatment of gay and lesbian service members is about as conservative a position as one cares to articulate.”
Barr, once a Republican and now a Libertarian, says that the unnecessary discharges hurt the military, “an institution conservatives claim to love.” He also says the ban is a waste of money and that the invasions of privacy related to the ban are an infringement on conservative values.
Don’t Ask, Who Cares [wall street journal]
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