In the heat of the debate over the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal bill, which was eventually passed by the House Wednesday by a 250 to 175 margin, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) delivered a floor speech railing against overturning the military protocol on the grounds that allowing gay servicemembers to serve openly would be a threat to America's "existence."
Here are his comments, via ThinkProgress:
GOHMERT: To my friend who said that history would judge us poorly, I would submit if you would look thoroughly at history -- and I'm not saying it's cause and effect -- but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that "fine for homosexuality to be overt" -- you can keep it private and control your hormones fine, if you can't, that's fine too -- they're toward the end of their existence as a great nation.
Gohmert also strangely argued that the military was necessarily, and by its very nature, "inconsistent with American values."
"It does not have freedom of speech, it does not have freedom of assembly, it does not have the freedom to express its love to those in the military the way you can out here, because it's an impediment to the military mission," Gohmert said, implying that the survey gauging the sentiments of soldiers was misleading because it had forced certain responses from respondents.
The truth of the matter, Gohmert contended, was that the military would lose hundreds and probably thousands of soldiers who would not reenlist if DADT was annulled, but they wouldn't admit this in a forum that could be seen by their superiors.
Though Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have urged caution in overturning the ban on openly gay servicemembers -- a course of action that they have nonetheless endorsed -- they have also backed the results of the troop survey, saying that it proves that there would be a "low overall risk of repeal."
The DADT bill now heads to the Senate for a vote, where it is believed by some to have the support to pass and send to the president for signing.
WATCH (via ThinkProgress):
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more