Command-level decision breaks down decades of limits on use of military image
NEW IN 'GAY' PARADE: U.S. TROOPS IN UNIFORM In what appears to be an extraordinary reversal of military policy, members of the U.S. armed forces say they have been given permission by their commanding officers to march in a “gay pride” parade Saturday – while wearing their service-issued uniforms.
Meanwhile, WND has learned, one of the top officers who approved the decision has since entered retirement.
The top echelons of the U.S. Air Force approved a request by a senior recruiter based in Arizona to join “a uniformed, active-duty military contingent” in a San Diego homosexual pride event, the San Diego Union Tribune reported
.Current Air Force rules say members may appear in uniform “at local community-wide civic-sponsored events only when the approving commander believes participating is appropriate and in good taste; the individuals volunteer for the assignment; there is no interference with military duties or operations; participation involves no additional cost to the government; and the event meets the basic participation criteria below.”
That section specifies that an event “intended to, or which appears to endorse, selectively benefit, or favor any private individual, special interest group, business, religious, ideological movement, commercial venture, political candidate, or organization” would be “disapproved.” Meredith Mingledorff of the 944th Public Affairs Office said Gasca’s commander told her the approval came from Lt. Col. Pratt of the Secretary of the Air Force’s public affairs office.
However, she also said Pratt had immediately retired and was not available to respond to questions about his decision. The Air Force did not respond to WND’s requests to ask Pratt about his decision, or to obtain comment from his successor.
WND earlier had contacted Air Force headquarters, where Maj. Joel Harper told WND that such decisions were allowed but were made at the local command level, referring WND to Luke Air Force Base.
When asked if the precedent would allow a service member to appear in uniform at a GOP event, a Democrat event, a pro-life rally or the like, Harper’s response was mere silence. “It’s too early to report any success, but indicators show that there are negative consequences of the new military policy known as LGBT law, which was created at the repeal of the 1993 law called DADT,” Donnelly told WND in an exclusive interview. “Trends are not good.”
Donnelly points to the CMR Policy Analysis called “Chilling Trend of Sexual Assault in the Military,” which reports that “sexual assault in all branches of the services have increased by 22 percent since 2007.” It also states that violent attacks and rapes in the Army have nearly doubled since 2006 to 1,313 last year, with 5 percent of the assaults on men. Furthermore, it reported that in “all branches of the service, male sexual assault victims have increased significantly, from 10 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in confidential reports.”
The trend continues, says Donnelly, who stresses that it can hardly be considered “success.” The Thomas More Law Center agrees that the current administration putting LGBT law into the military puts both soldiers and citizens in danger, and its attorneys continue to challenge this threat to America’s national security.
“This new law will ultimately destroy unit cohesion and morale, reduce the number of heterosexual volunteers, and considerably degrade the ability of the military to defend our nation, their first responsibility,” said Thomas More Law Center President and Chief Counsel Richard Thompson. “Our military men and women, our sons and daughters, should not be subjected to an involuntary social experiment which will damage our national security. That’s why we will continue our efforts to oppose this immoral law.”
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