Obama Continues Radical Social Engineering of the Military

The progressive revamping of the military has gotten another boost. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has offered an array of new benefits to the same-sex partners of service members, both active and retired, whether they are married or not. They include child care services, member-designated hospital visits, and the issuance of military ID cards to same-sex partners, granting them access to on-base commissaries, movie theaters and gyms. “Taking care of our service members and honoring the sacrifices of all military families are two core values of this nation. Extending these benefits is an appropriate next step under current law to ensure that all service members receive equal support for what they do to protect this nation,” said Panetta in a statement announcing the development. Yet all service members are not receiving equal support: unmarried heterosexual partners and their families are not getting these benefits.

All the new benefits were previously denied by the Pentagon. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) mostly prohibits more than 85 other benefits now granted to heterosexual military spouses and their children from being given to same-sex partners. These include medical care, housing allowances, death benefits and burial at Arlington National Cemetery. They will remain prohibited because making such changes “presents complex legal and policy challenges due to their nexus to statutorily-prohibited benefits and due to ongoing reviews about how best to provide scarce resources,” Panetta explained.

Such policy challenges are reflected by the reality that same-sex couples are not legally prohibited from qualifying for on-base housing. But Pentagon officials were concerned that following the “spirit of the law” outlined in DOMA required further review. Those concerns centered around fairness and the reaction of other military members, including married couples who could be bumped from housing lists by same-sex couples.

In a statement issued Monday decrying this development, the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) noted that by “equating same-sex domestic partnerships with natural marriage, the lame-duck Secretary of Defense has created a new inequity. Unmarried same-sex couples signing Secretary Panetta’s on-paper-only ‘Declaration of Domestic Partnership’ will have special rights, status, and benefits that are denied to opposite-sex domestic partners and their dependents.”

CMR was equally upset with the incrementalist nature of the move, and where it will inevitably lead. “Eventual correction of this inequity in the name of ‘consistency,’ and eventual extension of medical, housing and other costly benefits on an incremental basis, will rob even more funds from limited defense budget accounts that are devoted to traditional family support.”

Maintaining that traditional family support is likely to be further eroded. DOMA will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States this summer. If two lower court rulings are any indication, it will very likely be overturned. If that occurs, Panetta’s memo indicated that full military benefits will be extended to same-sex couples. With regard to the current changes, Panetta is giving the services until October 1 to effect them, but said they should make every effort to get it done by the end of August.

When the military repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as their official policy for dealing with gay soldiers in 2011, twenty additional benefits became available to same-sex partners, including the ability to be listed as a beneficiary on the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance policy (SGLI), a death benefit, and hospital visitation rights. This prompted gay advocacy groups to campaign for an additional 100 benefits to be extended to gay couples. Panetta extended 22. Eligibility for the new benefits will require same-sex couples to file a “declaration of domestic partnership” to access such benefits in the 41 states where gay marriage remains illegal. A senior Pentagon official estimated the new benefits would affect approximately 5,600 same-sex couples with an active-duty service member, 3,400 serving with the National Guard or Reserves, and 8,000 military retirees.

Gay and lesbian advocates praised Panetta for the move. “Secretary Panetta’s decision today answers the call President Obama issued in his inaugural address to complete our nation’s journey toward equality, acknowledging the equal service and equal sacrifice of our gay and lesbian service members and their families,” said Allyson Robinson, an Army veteran and executive director of OutServe-SLDN, an association of actively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender U.S. military personnel. “We thank him for getting us a few steps closer to full equality–steps that will substantively improve the quality of life of gay and lesbian military families,” she added.

Yet the CMR reminds Americans that, as it is with so many policy decisions enacted by this administration, congressional input is irrelevant. “Once again, members of Congress are being cut out of the picture by the lame-duck Secretary of Defense, who will not have to cope with the consequences,” their statement reads. “Far from conducting a ‘careful review,’ administration officials have disregarded their own previous commitments regarding marriage that they made to Congress in 2010.”

Regardless, some members of Congress praised the move. “The administration is doing what it can within the constraints that are in place, but the job is not done,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. “I look forward to continuing to work with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to achieve full equality in the military.”

Others shared the same concerns as the CMR. “We are on a slippery slope here,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Why would the (Defense Department) extend benefits to same-sex partners and then deny cohabiting heterosexual couples the same benefits? The Department of Defense is essentially creating a new class of beneficiary that will increase costs and demand for limited resources that are currently available for military families, active and reserve forces, and retirees.”

Those resources will be further strained if sequestration occurs. The Pentagon will be required to cut $42 billion by Sept. 30. Memos sent to Congress by Joint Chiefs of Staff warned that the military will be reduced to one where Army brigades are unprepared to fight, Navy air craft carriers will remain undeployed and the Air Force will be incapable of operating 24- hour radar surveillance.

Even if such scenarios are exaggerated, adding a whole new benefit class to the cost of military operations will certainly strain the military’s budget even further–which may be precisely the point. Sequestration, which was originally Barack Obama’s idea, is automatic. As a result, Republicans have been disinclined to negotiate any changes to impending spending cuts. Since there are no coincidences in politics, Panetta’s announcement, coming on the same day as Obama’s State of the Union speech, is very likely designed to pressure Republicans into renegotiating that sequester, even as administration officials take credit for another military “milestone.” It remains to be seen where the balancing act between progressive social values and military preparedness leads.

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  • Rocco

    I read a fantastic article regarding social engineering in the military years ago. Can't remember who wrote it, however the crux was basically that the social engineers were given free access to begin experimenting with the military after the "Tail Hook" incident. That is when the feminists were given free reign to begin there studies, and began testifying before congress and demanding changes. Commanders were re-educated, and they began to become politicians instead of warriors.

    I worked for the military in Germany for many years, and I honestly believe this is how it all started. We began to see a change in the new officers, more touchy-feely types replacing the bad-asses, and more females being promoted ahead of peers. I am not surprised that we are no longer permitted to actually fight wars.

    Mr. Ahlert, thanks for a great article.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Social engineering is the hallmark/trade craft of the left. Israel is saddled with the same leftist machinations, chiefly through its halls of injustice – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/11/18/leftist-polit… …social engineering disasters, all "credit" to leftist hegemony.

    That being said, the Obama regime is gunning for many, and one main target is the military. In fact, by gutting rights for heterosexuals he gets a twofer – the empowerment of those who are, for the most part, not in sync with traditional values (Obama's "go to" shock troops), as well as destroying the morale and fiber of the bulwark of America's power – its military. What a guy.

    Need evidence? More than enough to choke a horse – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/10/another-bulls

    NOT only is he targeting active duty, but vets too! Very dangerous.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Mary Sue

    Benefits for same sex partners, eh? Reminds me of Leno's Headlines on Monday where he read amusing wedding announcements: "The Holden (sp?) – Johnson wedding!" (And it was two guys!)

    The way Obama's carrying on, the military will be crippled in about 5 years, assuming Hilary or some garbage democrap gets in in 2016.

    • Loyal Achates

      Much like the Israeli army, huh?

      • Mary Sue

        Well, irrelevent to the fact of gay partner benefits. Obama will just cripple the military, period.

  • harrylies

    Isn't this just like allowing black and white people to serve together? In World War II, they were separated. A lot of people said treating blacks equally would destroy America.

    • Conniption Fitz

      Sexual response is a conditioned behavior, not the sign of a separate race.

      Same-sex attraction is a symptom, a symptom that points to a set or cluster of psychological abnormalities.

      • Loyal Achates

        Trying to prevent people from being gay is social engineering too…or hadn't you noticed?

        • Western Canadian

          So is preventing people from running red lights…..

    • LibertarianToo

      One of my friends in the Air Force was pointing out that in the military you don't have the option of being a racist. It will soon be that way for descrimination against gays.

      I'm always amazed at how many conservatives truly don't believe in equality before the law.

      • Rebecca

        We believe in equality. It's gay marriage that most of us find preposterous.

        • Loyal Achates

          All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others…

          • Rebecca

            Gay marriage is still a preposterous concept and has nothing to do with equal rights. There is a profound difference between heterosexual and homosexual unions and reasons behind why heterosexuals marry. Marriage between hetero's has existed for centuries. It's existence predates tax breaks or visiting someone in a hospital.

          • Loyal Achates

            I don't suppose you'd care to explain what those differences are?

          • Rebecca

            Men and women through their sexual activity produce children. It seems to be a logical conclusion that nature has intended for men and women to be the units in which each succeding generation is raised. There seems to be a strong bond between parents and their children and certainly extensive studies have proven that this is the healthiest environment to raise a child in. Marriage makes sense between men and women for this reason and certainly has been, is and will continue to be a prime reason for marriage.

          • Loyal Achates

            Men and women do not always produce children, and a desire or ability to have children is not considered when allowing men and women to marry.

            Some gay couples adopt children (or do you think adopted children don't count because their adopted parents sexual activity didn't produce children) and some straight couples never have children. Is the gay couple with an adopted child worth less than the straight childless couple?

            Extensive studies have shown that the most successful environment for raising kids is one with two parents which is financially stable – the gender of the parents appears to make no difference.

            Of course, all of this is a big non-sequitur – just an excuse to demean gay people and their relationships. People are starting to wise up.

          • Rebecca

            The fact that all men and women do not produce children negates nothing in my post. Nor does the fact that not all marry based on a desire to produce children negate the fact that most do marry because of a desire to start a family. I understand gays adopt children. And no, I do not believe that gays raising children is optimal nor is there any extensive studies showing that it is. To believe that a male and a female is the best way to raise a child is just common sense and to state as fact that this doesn't matter is based on nothing but your own desire that it doesn't matter. Which brings us to the real reason that gay marriage and and gay adoption is occuring. It is because there are some in the gay community who don't like their sexuality to be thought of as different from heterosexuals. So they are adopting the trappings of heterosexuality in the hopes that their sexuality will be seen as having as much value and is as normal as heterosexuality

          • Loyal Achates

            I'd love to see the studies showing that children adopted by gay couples are worse off.

          • JacksonPearson

            Are you saying that one going against the Word of God, is better off?
            How so?

          • Cat K

            There is such a study and it is legitimate. Before you blow a fuse of victim hood rage I will explain. The study "subjects" now adults grew up in a different generation than children today. I'll try to find the reference. They had poor outcomes in adulthood (education, mental health, earning, etc.) and it seemed related to the amount of instability in the home- that is parents changing partners, moving, etc. Such outcomes related to instability could certainly also apply to children of heterosexual couples or single parents. In this cohort it occurred. The worst outcomes, if I remember correctly, were children of gay fathers. This may be quite different for children of gay parents today as there is less stigma for being gay and more awareness on the part of parents of the importance of providing a stable home environment for their children.
            But, as one would expect, the study cause a knee jerk reaction and lots of hollering and attempts to debunk the study. This showed me that many who say they are more compassionate because they are concerned about gay people have little concern about the well being of children. Which is what's really shameful here.

          • Western Canadian

            Not a valid comment, more of a desperate attempt to grasp at a straw. Not all ‘men’ are given the same status and rights at the same age, age, experience, education all play a role, as does suitability of the candidate. You lose.

          • Western Canadian

            Can;t recall details, but within the last 5 years, at least two studies have raised serious concerns about homo-marriage on children….. Havn’t been able to find them this week, probably been hacked/deleted, for not being PC.

          • Loyal Achates

            Or more likely you made them up.

          • Rebecca

            Unlike your "extensive studies" showing that gender doesn't matter but only that the child have "two parents which is financially stable" fairy tale.

    • Ben Jabo

      Look at present day America, it's in lousy shape
      Rampant Unemployment, coolge Grads can't get jobs;
      You can thank the half-black in the White House & the trillions of dolalrs that he has pissed away

  • mike

    BHO is attacking the moral fiber that has built this country. Common sense which is the understanding of God's word seems to have left this country, at least those who serve in government/white house. I'm a retired mailman that spent 17 yrs delivering mail to military families that lived on one of the largest bases in the united states and believe me those military people have some serious thoughts about this act of stupidity which BHO has shoved on them. You will reap what you sow and believe me … we will.

  • Brujo Blanco

    In addition to the general elimination of common sense and morality what about the cost in real money? What happens when a Muslim with four wives asks for military benefits for all of his wives and his ten children? The mission of the military is to be ready and fight our enemies. A new major mission seems to be the promotion of sexual perversion. If we maintain this trajectory we may very well lose the ability to protect and defend in the name of political correctness. Where will the money come from?

  • Conniption Fitz

    The cost of gays in the military will be exponential.
    The medical care for one HIV/AIDS patient through life is $600,000. Imagine the cost of sex-change surgery, psychiatry, psychologists… and it goes on.
    MSM (males having sex with males) 44+ times increased incidence of HIV, 46+ times increased incidence of all other STDs (Herpes, HPV, Hepatitis and new strain of Gonohrrea are incurable). Increased mental health issues, depression, suicide, violence, cancers, infections, early death.
    Same-sex attraction and identity dysphoria are symptoms, not a sign of another 'sexual orientation' or 'sexual identity.'

  • Conniption Fitz

    Besides the social engineering (under Clinton, Bush and Obama), the use of our military to protect the oil interests in the ME and the pedophiles and poppy-growers in Afghanistan is unconscionable and disgusting.

    Oil can be gotten without supporting tyrants and evil-doers. No one needs the heroin, meth, and sex-trafficking that these despicable heathens market.

    To have a major international meeting in Bali – the pedophile tourist capital of the world is also disgusting.

    We must put on our armor and fight all this depravity and disease-producing behaviors with facts/truth/evidence and tough love.

  • jtrolla

    No slippery slope here. We are over and off the cliff and falling at terminal velocity into the Abyss.

  • BLJ

    My hope is that the military steps on this parasite sooner than later.

  • PJG

    All this will increase motivation for gays to join the army, and from inside to lord it over the others.

  • Infovoyeur

    You just don't like the lower-caste Inverts and Deviants, do you? Note the tired distorter "special rights" and the slippery slope. For Athena's and Minerva's sake, this move is PRO-MARRIAGE hence social stability more than individual privilege! People, fxggxts and dykxs CANNOT GET MARRIED (as of now) str8s CAN. But the Breeder Class is so naturally superior, that their benefits with dom. part. status is okay with you, eh…

  • Edward Cline

    Gay Parris Island? Neutered Navy? Bisexual Air Force and Army? They're forgetting the transgenderites! Unfair! Discriminatory!

  • Velveeta

    Partner benefits (like spousal benefits) are also subsidized by single service members or employees in civilian fields who have to maintain a household on one income. Their compensation is suppressed so that their married/partnered coworkers can get extra benefits, very often while enjoying two incomes per household. Why can't the partners get their own benefits through their own jobs, or pay with their own earnings?

    The concept of spousal benefits originated at a time when wives typically didn't have paying jobs because they were raising their children (and when wage controls were in place). Nowadays, many individuals in a two-career couple will piggyback on a spouse's benefits not because of any need but because they're more generous than what their own employer offers. And again, it's subsidized by single employees.

  • FPF

    BHBengaziO is just a sign of a worsening disease that's infecting a once great country and sadly people's pride and sin natural prevent them from acknowledging or treating it and that will lead them to their own demise. Just like empires in the history book.

  • Ghostwriter

    Is this REALLY necessary?

  • Dave Richards

    Boohoo we are giving them equality. Cry me a river.

    • stevefraser

      Good point…finding a cure is the only answer.

  • stevefraser

    With the Barbarians inside the gates (and in the White House) of the Republic, I no longer care what happens to the US Military….it's gone and will be replaced by a babysitting service staffed by homosexuals.