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Inhofe Questions Waiver for Military Participation in Gay Pride Parade

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Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), in a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today questioned the decision to allow uniformed service members to participate in this past weekend's gay pride parade in San Diego.

"Based on the current standing DOD Directive 1344.10 and separate service department regulations, service members "shall not march or ride in a partisan political parade,'" wrote Inhofe in the letter. "These directives and regulations are unambiguous and straight forward with the intent of preserving the military's apolitical stance. If the Navy can punish a Chaplain for participating in a pro-life event or a Marine participating in a political rally, it stands to reason that DOD should maintain the same standard and preclude service members in uniform from marching in a gay pride parade. I respectfully request a detailed explanation of the rational you used to grant this "one time waiver' of DOD policy, who requested the waiver, why this waiver was considered justified over other requests, and whether you are considering other exceptions to current policy."

Inhofe is concerned the Obama administration continues to force its liberal social agenda on the military by promoting the homosexual agenda, mandating the use of high-cost green energy initiatives, pursuing abortion rights, and suppressing the free exercise of religious liberties. Outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz was recently quoted in a news report saying his concern is with "people in leadership roles -- commanders' roles -- who did not appreciate sufficiently…the need to exercise care in how they articulate their faith." Schwartz added that he is worried when commanders "appear to promote" particular beliefs, because those under the command could feel "at a disadvantage if they did not align accordingly."

These comments, targeted at religious beliefs, do not appear to apply to promoting the liberal social agenda.


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