White House Objects to ‘Conscience Protections’ in Defense Bill That Would Protect Anti-Gay Harassment

Last week we reported on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered by Rep. John Fleming (pictured) (R-LA) that would expand "conscience protections", offering a "license to bully" based on religious beliefs.

FlemingThe White House released a statement this afternoon containing objections to certain provisions in the bill. Among them, the 'conscience protections':

The Administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, "actions and speech" reflecting the "conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member."  By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.

Wrote Outserve-SLDN of the amendment last week:

If enacted, the Fleming amendment would protect inappropriate, defamatory, and discriminatory speech and actions – a significant expansion of current protections for beliefs – and would leave commanders with no recourse against such prejudicial conduct when it occurs in their units.

The group says the amendment would also "compromise religious liberties of service members, erode the ability of military commanders to protect good order and discipline, and undermine the successful implementation of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' repeal."


  1. Michael says

    So basically you can harass anyone and say, “It goes against my religious beliefs.”

    These types of bills always end up back-firing on these so-called Christians.

  2. PAUL B. says

    Well, yes sir…I called that pansy a fudge-packin’ faggot…because that’s what my priest
    says he is…therefore I believe it’s protected as a religious conviction. If I can’t call him a fudge-packin faggot…it’ll erode our good order & discipline.

  3. says

    Thanks, Mr. President, but you can’t have it both ways. Breaking YOUR OWN 2007 campaign promise to create policies banning discrimination IN the military against gay troops post repeal, you continue to allow the Pentagon to arbitrarily deny them inclusion under the Military Equal Opportunity Program which automatically includes STRAIGHT troops on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, and religious or political affiliation. All gay and lesbian service members have is “Chain of Command” which fails by definition when your commander is the one harassing or discriminating against you in such things as performance evaluations, duty assignments, and promotion simply because you’re gay.

  4. Francis #1 says

    Will be interesting to see what happens here because this will probably pass the House with the conscious clause within the bill. Will it pass the Senate without any fanfare is the question. There are several other issues within the defense bill and Obama is threatening to veto. If those issues are sufficiently cleared up, will the Senate allow a bill with this type of horrendous anti-gay clause pass, and will Obama sign? We’ll see what happens.

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