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Barr on barring gay soldiers

by Jeremy Hooper

So say you are an ultra-conservative who authored the extremely gay-unfriendly Defense of Marriage Act, are staunchly opposed to gays being compared to other minority classes, and frequently use words like "homosexual agenda" to describe gay rights measures. How do you react when you hear there are people wishing to overturn the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell ban on openly gay soldiers? Well, if you're former congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) -- you support the repeal!

 Images BobYes, Barr has written an editorial for the Wall Street Journal, wherein he says, among other things, that "...equal treatment of gay and lesbian service members is about as conservative a position as one cares to articulate." An excerpt:

"As a conservative Republican member of Congress from 1995 to 2003, I was hardly a card-carrying member of the gay-rights lobby. I opposed then, and continue to oppose, same-sex marriage, or the designation of gays as a constitutionally protected minority class. Service in the armed forces is another matter. The bottom line here is that, with nearly a decade and a half of the hybrid "don't ask, don't tell" policy to guide us, I have become deeply impressed with the growing weight of credible military opinion which concludes that allowing gays to serve openly in the military does not pose insurmountable problems for the good order and discipline of the services."

Wow! This is the same Bob Barr who said of gay marriage during the 1996 floor debate on DOMA:

"As Rome burned, Nero fiddled," ..." ... The flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundations of our society, the family unit."

But then again, this is the same Bob Barr who, despite his strong convictions against gay marriage, also opposes constitutional gay marriage bans. Contradictions would seem to be the order of the day.

In his piece, Barr outlines three reasons why he thinks the ban should fall:

1) "...[T]rue conservative political philosophy respects the principles of individual freedom and personal privacy, particularly when it comes to what people do in private"

2) "...[T]he ban on gays openly serving in our armed forces is hurting a military that is stretched thin, putting further strain on an institution conservatives claim to love."

3) "...[T]he gay ban wastes money"

And while we would like to see another reason...

4) The ban is clearly mean-spirited, unjust, and un-American

...we'll take his antipathy for the policy any way we can get it. After all, when a man who once compared our legal lovin' to Roman hedonism calls for an anti-gay policy's repeal, you know that pigs are flying over an icy hell on this, the 12th of Never it's bound to fall sooner rather than later.

So thank you. Mr. Barr, for articulating the truly conservative position on this issue. We may disagree on much; but in terms of our right to camouflage ourselves in an uncamouflaged fashion, we are marching to a very similar cadence.

Don't Ask, Who Cares [WSJ via BobBarr.com]
Gay Marriage Foe Bob Barr Calls For Repeal Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ [Think Progress]

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Your thoughts

Note to con-artist conservatives: If you don't want gays to be considered for treatment as a "minority status," then quit treating them like they are some kind of minority "other" in their own country.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 13, 2007 3:42:03 PM

Damn, my jaw just dropped to the ground.

Posted by: Donald | Jun 14, 2007 2:11:06 AM

Wow, he supports letting us die openly for our country (now that the war is going so badly) but he still doesn't think we deserve the same rights and protections as any other minority. Very telling...

Posted by: Scott | Jun 14, 2007 9:55:16 AM

"Arbeit Macht Frei," eh Mr. Barr?

The worst aspect of this display of mendacity is that he's going to get away with characterizing those who've answered our nation's call as "a hodge podge that includes ex-cons, drug abusers and high-school dropouts."

Tell it to the marines, Barr. Tell it Chance Phelps.


Kerry was dragged like Hector round Troy for far less, but don't go listening for the Rove echo chamber to come after Barr.

We are truely through the looking glass.

Dwight Whayle

Posted by: Dwight Whayle | Jun 16, 2007 11:13:18 AM

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