Daddy Duncan Hunter was the Republican Representative for California’s 52nd (which covers part of my home town of San Diego – ugh), and his son Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr. is the current Rep. for the same district. (Also ugh.) Both have been Marines. Both hate gays. And both love DADT. Which is why they were on a tag team press junket to explain why repealing DADT is such a bad idea.
Daddy Hunter was kind of brilliant in his NPR interview. Here’s a snippet of what he said:
[NPR Host MELISSA] BLOCK: You are not in favor of a repeal of dont ask, dont tell. Why not?
Rep. HUNTER: No, because I think that its bad for the cohesiveness and the unity of the military units, especially those that are in close combat, that are in close quarters in country right now. Its not the time to do it. I think its – the military is not civilian life. And I think the folks who have been in the military that have been in these very close situations with each other, there has to be a special bond there. And I think that bond is broken if you open up the military to transgenders, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians.
BLOCK: Transgenders and hermaphrodites.
Rep. HUNTER: Yeah, thats going to be part of this whole thing. Its not just gays and lesbians. Its a whole gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual community. If you’re going to let anybody no matter what preference – what sexual preference they have that means the military is going to probably let everybody in. Its going to be like civilian life and the I think that that would be detrimental for the military.
BLOCK: Was there anything in your experience with the military in Afghanistan and Iraq that made you think that unit cohesion would be a real issue if gays and lesbians who, I think we can acknowledge, are serving in the military now, just not openly, were to be open about their sexual orientation?
Rep. HUNTER: Yeah, I think that the majority of people in the military are they’re young kids. They usually have more conservative families, more conservative backgrounds and I think that it would go against their principles and it would frankly make everybody a little bit uneasy to be in these close situations, how you go into combat, you know, the shower situation, the bathroom situation, just, you know, very mundane details – things that we have men and women separated, you know, because we dont want to have that sexual distraction. That exists for the homosexual aspect of things, too.
BLOCK: But Congressman Hunter, wouldnt you agree that there are gays and lesbians serving in the military right now, they just are not open about their orientation. So the problems that you raise presumably would be problems already. They are in the barracks already. They are in the showers already.
Rep. HUNTER: No, but they arent open about it, like you just said. Its like if you want to work for NPR, you dont go to work and on the first day say, hey, I want everybody to know that Im gay. You probably dont care one way or the other as long as they, you know, get their particular job done. I think the military is the same way. Thats why dont ask, dont tell works.
I LOVE this line of argument. Love love. It boils down to this: The troops won’t like following this particular order, so troops should tell their superiors what to do. Screw the (non-gay) chain of command!
Read and listen to the whole thing here.
Son Hunter echoed his daddy in a CNN debate with the increasingly amazing Kirsten Gillibrand. Hunter said:
We have an all-volunteer force . . . The recruiters are going to say “Hey, it’s hurting the recruiting because we don’t have as many of kids who want to join because they’ve allowed homosexuals to serve openly.”
When reminded by Gillibrand that our NATO allies allows gays to serve, and we fight side-by-side with those militaries with no problem, Duncan said, “I never say any open homosexuals.”