On today’s Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace went on the attack against GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum for his belief that ending the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is a social experiment within the armed services.
With frequent interruptions, Wallace told Santorum that “All of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the repeal of it does is say that they are given the same rights as everybody else has had forever,” and that people, “used exactly the same arguments you use to argue against racial integration in the military in the 1940s.”
First of all, the Senator tried to answer the question about the difference between homosexuals as a special class and homosexuals as a special class. Even in uniform, it’s usually possible to tell the race or sex of the soldier. In contrast, the identification of homosexuals is not based on appearance or any objective measurement other than their self-identification.
Now, let’s ask the Arizona State Legislature whether or not there will be special privileges for self-declared homosexuals. Or look at the new policy allowing chaplains in the military to perform same sex marriages, in direct contradiction to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
WALLACE: Senator, if I may follow up and we are running out of the time and continuing on this conversation. You say don’t inject social policy into the military. Their job is to fight and defend. They’re not a social experiment.
I want to put up a quote for you. “The Army is not a sociological laboratory. Experimenting with Army policy, especially in time of war would pose a danger to efficiency, disciple and moral and would result in ultimate defeat.” Does that sound about right, sir?
SANTORUM: Roughly yes.
WALLACE: That’s a quote from Colonel Eugene Householder who is in the Army Adjutant General’s Office in 1941, arguing against racial integration in the military.
SANTORUM: I figured. I’ve heard similar quotes. It’s very, very different. I mean, we are talking about people who are, you know, simply different because of the color of their skin, not because of activities that would cause problems for people living in those close quarters.
WALLACE: Senator, Colonel Householders and I read — Senator, I read Colonel Householders’ comments yesterday. Everything that you said, living in close proximity, sharing bunks and showers, being in close proximity, what — he used exactly the same arguments you use to argue against racial integration in the military in the 1940s.
SANTORUM: Yes, I understand that, and I know the whole gay community is trying to make this the new Civil Rights Act. It’s not. It’s not the same.
You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual necessarily by — obviously by the color of your skin or anything — it’s by a variety of things.
WALLACE: I mean, it is a fact that your biology — obviously, it’s one thing if somebody is coming on to somebody in a room, but the sheer fact that somebody is a homosexual, are you saying — I mean, these are all volunteers. They are all defending to protect our country, sir.
SANTORUM: That’s exactly the point, Chris. They are all volunteers, and they don’t have to join in a place where they don’t feel comfort serving with people because of that issue. And that is the problem, Chris.
And look, the idea that somehow or another, that this is the equivalent, that being black and being gay is simply not true. There are all sorts of studies out there that suggest just the contrary, and there are people who were gay and lived a gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore. I don’t know if that’s a similar situation — I don’t think that’s the case with anybody that is black.
So it’s not the same. And I know people try to make it the same, but it is not. It is a behavioral issue, as opposed to a color of the skin issue, and that makes all the difference when it comes to serving in the military
WALLACE: We’re going to have to leave it there, Senator Santorum.