Duncan Hunter Defends Gay Ban: U.S. Needs “Hardened Warriors”


If you missed 60 Minutes and its feature on Army Sgt. Darren Manzella and the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy last night, you can watch it here.

The show featured some particularly repulsive remarks from GOP presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter.

HunterFrom the show’s transcript: “‘We aren’t the Brits. We’re not the Europeans. We’re not the Swedes,’ says Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. Hunter argues that gays do not belong in the U.S. military because American troops need to be hardened warriors, unlike soldiers in the 15 NATO countries where gays serve openly. ‘The Fallujahs of the world, the Ramadis of the world that require heavy combat and lots of fire-fighting capability – those are the places the Americans go. The other countries tend to go to the so-called peacekeeper zones, where they have fewer fire fights and less contact with the enemy,’ Hunter says. ‘And the European nations show little will to send large contingents of their military people into dangerous places.'”

Admiral Alan West, who headed the Royal Navy when the military gay ban ended in Britain, feels that it has helped their military. West responded to Hunter: ‘I think American troops are very brave and I think British troops are very brave. But we do it in a little bit of probably a quieter way generally, you know? We don’t have to go ‘Huh, huh, huh’ and shave our heads off and shake hands very hard. You can still kill someone without having to do that.'”

60 Minutes to Cover “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Wartime Policy [tr]

Military Soft On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? [60 minutes]


  1. Brian says

    I know plenty of fags who could kick Duncan Hunter’s pasty fat ass.

    But why get angry? It’s just par for the course. Republicans always pander to the worst possible instincts of the mob. It’s worked for decades. It’ll probably work again this time. I just hope they figure out what bigotry they’re going to pander to next, because homophobia won’t be a viable option for too much longer. Once the sanctimonious baby boom starts to die off, we’ll have to find another boogie man.

  2. the queen says

    thanks, andy, for my laugh of the day. is miss hunter for real? hardened warriors indeed, i’ve had a couple of flings with some military men and let me tell you they were hard all right, ha! so were the greeks and the spartans for that matter, pretty tough cookies when it came to mixing combat with homosex. reminds me of when mae west went to visit the inmates at san quentin, she sashayed up to the warden and said, ummm mae’s in town, i want to see a hardened criminal…

  3. Luke says

    I’m following the news, and I’ve not actually even heard of Hunter, but it sounds like he’s doing a good job of sabotaging his campaign.

  4. Martin says

    He is such a moron. But he and his buddies in Congress unfortunately have the power to send soldiers into senseless wars.
    This attitude is so rotten and arrogant – and I do hope that the Europeans get on his case, demand clarification and just tell him and his buddies to flight these dirty, bloody wars with their hardened warriors without “pussy support” from Europe.

    These people – Hunter, Tancredo, Romney, Huckabee, Bush, Roumsfeld… make this disgusting image of America and the rest of the world is turned off. America wake up!

  5. yeahisaidit says

    …i mean, honestly, is it just that these old farts need to DIE off…? it’s all becoming unbelievable on so many levels…why must the U.S. be dragged kicking and screaming into present day mentality…i thought we were supposed to be the educated ones…

  6. johnosahon says

    I’m following the news, and I’ve not actually even heard of Hunter, but it sounds like he’s doing a good job of sabotaging his campaign.

    Posted by: Luke | Dec 17, 2007 10:54:37 AM


    what are you talking about? this will help his campaign, he is a republican for crying out loud, it will only spoil his campaign if he was a democrat.

  7. says

    “Hardened warriors? OMFG. Paging Dr. Freud! Paging Dr. Freud!

    Honestly, this idiot quote will be all over the Euro press and the news anchors there will have a field day with it. And this knuckle dragging troglodyte, this medieval gnome, will do further violence to Americas sanding.

    Since the trick to getting the GOP nomination seems to be a race between elderly white males to prove that you’re the most hateful cu*t in the nation, this is no doubt just a further example.

    Between creationism, anti-gay bigotry, President Bush and the whole Bring Em On era, the nation is in trouble and is SEEN to be so.

  8. STEVER says

    I’d like to see Duncan Hunter tell the Israeli army that they aren’t hardened warriors. Israel dropped the ban in 1993. Oops, inconvenient fact.

  9. Ernie says

    “‘We aren’t the Brits. We’re not the Europeans. We’re not the Swedes,'”–that’s very true, alas. Maybe we should take lessons?

    His idea that fags may be ok in their fake froufrou armies while they just don’t belong in our real macho military is as disgusting as it is ludicrous. It might even be humorously wacky if it weren’t such an insult to the gay men and women who have served honorably and, in some cases, sacrificed their lives for the likes of creeps like him.

  10. Chad says

    Mr Hunter seems to forget that the US military of “hardened warriors” already contains gays and lesbians – they are just not allowed to be out and talk about it. DADT is not a “no gays” policy, it is just a “you can’t talk about it policy”. Every arguement supporting DADT breaks down when forced to deal with this detail (such as the whole ridiculous “they have to shower together” arguement). Gays and Lesbians are already serving, they are just forced to lie about who they sleep with, and yes, they are already in the showers with everyone else.

    Just because some soldiers may be uncomfortable with gay people is not enough reason to handicap our military by kicking them out. Mr Hunter came off so idiotic in the interview that I can’t believe anyone takes him seriously (sadly, though, many do). As long as Republicans continue to win elections on the backs of gay people, we will continue to see this kind of fearmongering. This is another example of why the GLBT community should take a stand and use our votes and money to support those who support us (are you listening Log Cabin?)

  11. soulbrotha says

    I’d pay anything to see a drag queen drop-kick Duncan Hunter’s stupid ass! All the while wearing pumps and not once smudging her lipstick or breaking a nail.

  12. Fabrizio says

    I met this loser once…wish I knew he felt this way about Gays in the military. His ignorant remarks on the issue really show how out of touch Republicans are on the issue.
    These people – Hunter, Tancredo, Romney, Huckabee, Bush, Roumsfeld… make this disgusting image of America and the rest of the world is turned off.

  13. Rex says

    While I support the troops (ALL of them)…I honestly don’t understand why Gays and lesbians would want to Join such a Bigoted Countrys military anyways…Fight & Die for your country, but be TREATED as 2nd Class citizens while in the service and at Home…..I’ll always support the troops, but let the breeders die for this Mis-administration!

  14. virgoboy says


    I TOTALLY agree with you on both counts- in my support of our troops and in wondering why anyone who is Gay- whether you are accepting of yourself and who and what you are or not- would voluntarily join our Military organizations knowing FULL WELL what the consequences and possible outcome may be. I just can’t put my head around it and would love to have heard one of those five boys interviewed last evening explain their thinking. I am not trying to be critical- i just need clarification.

  15. JLS says

    I feel like “I support the troops” is something we say that has absolutely no meaning. It just sounds nice.

  16. Derrick from Philly says

    That Republican idiot will never know how many homosexuals in the military were his contemporaries–back in Viet Nam, Korea & World War II, and forever. The idiot can’t understand that those gay males who also break traditional gender role norms are NOT the ones joining the military (well, I’ve met a few real queens who I’d say, “how the hell did they let you get through basic training, but not many). Gay men and Lesbian womean who join the military are prepared to be hardened…killers–if necessary (oooo, that sounds awful).

    Leslie Stahl is starting to look like an old HOllywood movie queen who won’t go away, you know, like Norma Desmond. The make-up aint workin’ at all, girl.

  17. Ernie says

    “Supporting the troops” has become an easy clich√©, it’s true, but supporting the right of gay men and women to serve openly in the military, if they so choose (and who am I to question their choice?) has no ambiguity about it. It’s not a contradiction to support the right for someone to serve without hassles from within, even if I personally couldn’t be more opposed to the war in Iraq.

  18. Sebastian says

    I’ll join on with Rex, why would anyone who is loathed, hated and given second class staus want to fight for this country? Boggles the mind.

  19. anon (gmail.com) says

    I’m not sure why LS interviewed Hunter instead of the Chairman of the committee (someone with actual legislative power and the ability to draft legislation to end DOMA) Democrat, Ike Skelton (who?). Why is no pressure put on Pelosi to end the ban?

    Here is a list of all the members:

    Why didn’t they ask why gays could not serve openly in non-combat roles?

    Why didn’t they track down some gi’s who’d oppose gays serving openly and ask why they do?

    Why didn’t they bring up the general who quizzed the Republican debators last week?

    60 Minutes, ugh!

  20. Chad says

    I understand why some would wonder why gay men and women would want to serve in a military that does not want them. I suspect that the reasons that gays want to serve are very similar to the reasons anyone wants to serve:

    -They love this country and want to defend it.
    -They see it as a way to earn a living and advance their career.
    -They see it as a way to earn money for future education.
    -They see it as a way to earn veteran’s benefits and money for retirement.
    -They see it as a noble calling or a duty.
    -They see it as an opportunity or an opening to a better way of life that may not be available in their small town.
    -They see it as a way to escape from whatever might be holding them back at home.

    In other words, there are many reasons to join the military and I imagine that gay men and women are no different than any other American who chooses to serve – further strenghtening the case that we are really no different than our heterosexual neighbors.

    DADT does a huge disservice to men and women who want to serve this country. The conservative view that the “military helps protect our freedom” apparently does not include the freedom of speech used to tell your commanding officer that you are gay. DADT as a policy is in direct opposition to our Constitution and a US citizen’s Freedom of Speech.

  21. says

    I just wanted to say that I completely agree with what everyone has said: gay people, don’t join the military! There are other jobs, plenty even! Why voluntarily work for a boss that doesn’t want you to be there. I’ve worked for a few of those but it was only after they got to know me that they didn’t want me there.

    This is the same principle that I use for marriage. I tell all my straight friends, “I will not be going to your wedding or giving you a gift until I can marry my boyfriend… if I had a boyfriend, you know what I mean!”

  22. Jonathon says

    Oh god, where to start.

    Basically Hunter is saying that European countries are sissies and so it’s no problem for them to have fags in their military, since most European men are pretty effeminate anyway.

    So he insults American gays and lesbians and all of Europe in one blow. What a maroon.

    This guy needs to have his head examined.

  23. queendru says

    “He is such a moron. But he and his buddies in Congress unfortunately have the power to send soldiers into senseless wars.”

    Duncan served in uniform and his own son has been to Iraq more than once. I’ll give him credit for that. I don’t know the culture of the military but he has personal experience to have insights in what works well. What about all you harpies? Are you spouting off from a social agenda or do you have applicable military experience?

    There’s no right or obligation to serve in our all volunteer forces. Applicants are turned away all the time.

  24. Gitai says

    How ridiculous. Israelis are incredibly badass, and their drill sergeants are all short women and they’ve allowed gay soldiers for ages. You want battle hardened, you go for Israelis. They’re also incredibly attractive, which has made every trip there just so pleasant.

  25. Ernie says

    Um, Queendru, I think the gay people who have served and are serving in the military have some “insights” as well. Did you listen to the story? Do you think Duncan Hunter is a reasonable man? If supporting equality for my brothers and sisters is “spouting off from a social agenda,” I proudly plead guilty.

    As for the people who keep saying that gay people shouldn’t join the military (please reread Chad’s excellent comment): would you say the same about women and people of color? Because surely there are some misogynists and racists in the military. It’s a question of equality not whether YOU would join the military. I sooner cut off my balls than be a part of the US army, but what difference does that make? The US will always have a military. I’d much rather have well-qualified gays and lesbians serving than some of the straight but unqualified people (i.e. felons and IQ deprived) they’re currently letting in.

  26. Kernan says

    Part of the problem with our military is that many smart, educated people think it’s beneath them to join it. It’s turning into God’s private army. Is that what we want as a nation? A gigantic, Christian army with all the tanks and guns? Yikes. We need a draft that rich, educated people can’t get out of. That would be fair and make the military more balanced. Those that pull the levers of power might also think twice about starting a war if their little Madison or Zachary would be placed in harm’s way. But it probably won’t happen, as it would require people to be civic-minded and make sacrifices, and we just don’t do sacrifices in the upper middle-class now, do we?

  27. SFshawn says

    Here are some of my favorite quotes regarding gays in the military…

    Why can’t they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16’s going, “Who’d you call a faggot?” -Jon Stewart

    Soliders who are not afraid of guns,bombs,capture,torture or death say they are afraid of homosexuals. Clearly we should not be used as soldiers; we should be used as weapons. Letter to the Editor, The Advocate

    You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight. -Barry Goldwater

    Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? -Ernest Gaines

  28. Michael Bedwell says

    While the issue of having behavioral policies within the military was lightly touched upon a couple of times last night, and I commend Manzella and the SLDN spokeswoman for their performances, not enough is made of the perfect illustration of how the military could [if they wanted to] deal with the issue of homophobia in the ranks.

    Ironically, my late friend, Leonard Matlovich, before purposely coming out to sue the Air Force over its antigay policies in a 1975 test case, was, in addition to a Vietnam vet with a Purple Heart, a USAF ‚ÄúRace Relations Instructor.‚ÄĚ These classes had been created in 1971 to deal with the racism that still persisted in the military decades after the services had been officially integrated, and that had actually increased due to reactions to the civilian black civil rights movement. Participation in such classes was mandatory. Their goal was, ‚Äúto maintain the highest degree of organizational and combat readiness by fostering harmonious relations among all military personnel.‚ÄĚ

    So the model is already there and SLDN et al., needs to be rubbing it in their faces when they claim integration of out gays would fracture the military. In other words, they’re more afraid of a few out gays than they are Al Qaeda, anthrax, landmines, and nuclear weapons.

    And Leonard’s epitaph is as true now as when he passed in 1988:

    “When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

  29. EM says

    Clearly he hasn’t read his history books either. Great leaders and warlords such as Trajan, Hadrian and Alexander the Great were said to be gay.

    Apart from anything else, he’s another hick that’s making the US increasingly isolated.

  30. Brett says

    Kernan hit the mark with his comments. Our U.S. military has become increasingly dominated, particularly in the officer corps by right-wing evangelical “Christians”. Among this crowd right wing politics are married to a paper thin veneer of religiosity. They have infiltrated the chaplain corps and the military academies as well. Frightening implications.