While military leaders urged Congress to wait until the Department of Defense concluded a review on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," House Democrats moved to strike the long standing policy which governs homosexuals serving in the military.
Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), who opposes the change, chided the move as a reckless and blatant political power play by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an attempt to shore up liberal votes in advance of November's elections.
"Most members of Congress spent more time getting dressed this morning than this issue was given for debate in the House," said Kingston. "Rushing through this major shift in national policy with just ten minutes of debate is an insult to the American people by a Congress already known for not listening. Not only will this change the dynamic in the barracks and the morale in the field but it impacts social policy throughout the country. To date, no one has explained why this must be done now while we fight two far flung wars. It smacks of election year politics for politicians desperate to keep a grip on power."
The proposed change will be voted on in the form of an amendment to a much larger bill that dictates national defense policy. In total, the amendment was allotted just ten minutes for debate -- just five minutes for Democrats and five minutes for Republicans.
Kingston believes such a short amount of time does not give lawmakers time to fully examine the issue which was codified in 1993 both by law and by executive order. For instance, there is no consideration of the law's impact on the Defense of Marriage Act, the law of the land, which states that the federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman.
With homosexuals serving openly in the military, Kingston contends, there would be no option but to recognize a man's husband or a woman's wife and to provide spousal benefits thus contradicting the federal law.
Moreover, Kingston worries that a change in the policy would lead to further acts of censorship and a clamp down against religious freedom.
"What happens when clerics are told they can no longer preach against a practice their faith tells them is wrong," Kingston asked. "We've already seen with the revoked invitations of Tony Perkins and Franklin Graham what happens to someone whose beliefs don't bode well for the Administration's politics."