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08/09/2013

FRC's latest 'tragedy': Soldiers who obtain freedoms for which they fight

by Jeremy Hooper

Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis (USA-Ret.), a Family Research Council Senior Fellow, is still reeling over the fact that the Supreme Court essentially destroyed the Defense of Marriage Act. In his disbelief, he goes after the "tragic" and "travesty"-making soldiers who simply want to enjoy the American freedoms for which they risk life and limb:

“[The Pentagon is] going to grant free 10 days of paid vacation for these service members to go to a state where they do perform same-sex ‘marriages’ so that they can come back to their duty installation and claim marriage benefits,” [Maginnis] laments. “I believe that's a tragedy and a travesty as well.”
[ONN]

Let's think about this.

In terms of tragedy—what part of this plan, exactly, does this FRC staffer see as registering on the tragic scale? For the soldiers, this freedom to marry hopefully Screen Shot 2013-08-09 At 12.20.27 Pm means a lifetime of love and commitment. It certainly means rights on par (or closer to par) with their heterosexual peers, none of which come at the expense of those same peers (or anyone else). So where, exactly, is the "tragedy." Even if you oppose marriage equality (and we all get it, FRC—you're happy on the wrong side of history!), how is an American solider's legal union a "tragedy" that affects your life in any way? And I mean a real way, too, not those fake ways that the far-right's talking point machine has been trying to fib into the book of truth for the past few decades.

But while the "tragic" claims are intended to be personally slighting, it's the "travesty" claim that might be even more offensive. When we talk about military personnel, we are talking about human beings who, quite literally, sign up to potentially die for this country. These are men and women who take on this weighty job in order to protect and defend our liberties. The travesty is that we have been operating in a culture that has denied some of these individuals of rights and freedoms that they deserve! The way we treated our LGBT soldiers (and citizens at large) will go down in history as astounding tragedy—one that will seem increasingly unfathomable with every passing generation. No FRC spin is going to change that.

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