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Rick Perry Tells Bisexual Teen None Of America’s 20,000 Soldiers Should Be Gay

by David Badash on December 19, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Rick Perry Tells Bisexual Teen None Of America’s 20,000 Soldiers Should Be Gay

Rick Perry told a bisexual teen who had asked him to defend his views that gays should not serve openly in the military that homosexuality is a sin and as Commander In Chief he does not believe any of America’s 20,000 soldiers should be gay. America’s armed forces include almost three million service members, fairly evenly distributed between active duty and reserve personnel. There are an estimated 66,500 active duty gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members.

Perry, speaking at a town hall in Iowa, blamed President Obama’s base for forcing him to initiate the repeal of the military’s ban on gays serving openly in the military, known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, claimed it was working just fine, and pointed to his Christian faith as the reason for believing that homosexuality is a sin, and for believing that gays should not serve in the military.

ABC News reports:

“I just want to know why you’re so opposed to gays serving openly in the military, why you want to deny them that freedom when they’re fighting and dying for your right to run for president,” Rebecka Green, a high school student from Decorah, asked the Texas governor.

“Here’s my issue. This is about my faith, and I happen to think, you know, there are a whole hosts of sins. Homosexuality being one of them, and I’m a sinner and so I’m not going to be the first one to throw a stone,” Perry said. “I don’t agree that openly gays should be serving in the military. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was working and my position is just like I told a guy yesterday, he said, ‘How would you feel if one of your children was gay?’ I said I’d feel the same way. I hate the sin, but I love the sinner, but having them openly serve in the military, I happen to think as a commander in chief of some 20,000 plus people in the military is not good public policy, and this president was forced by his base to change that policy and I don’t think it was good policy, and I don’t think people in the military thought it was good policy.”

After her confrontation with Perry at the Winnishiek Hotel, Green told reporters she disagrees with the governor’s position on the issue.

“I’m openly bisexual and I don’t want to be told that if I wanted to serve in the military that I couldn’t, and I just think that policy is completely ridiculous that he thinks that. I just don’t like it,” Green said. “Him or nobody should be able to tell somebody who they can or can’t love.”

Perry was unaware that she was bisexual when she approached him with the question.

Rebecka’s father, Todd Green, a Democrat and professor of religion at Luther College, expressed disappointment in Perry’s response to his daughter.

“For a group of women and men to fight for the freedom to run for president, to gather here peacefully and assemble here peacefully in a place like Decorah, but not for them to have the freedom to be open about who they are but he can be free to be open about who he is, to me it seems to be a major contradiction and very hypocritical,” Todd Green said.

“He acknowledged being a sinner as well and then labels an entire group of other people sinners, but now he’s making the same the distinction between certain sinners who can’t serve openly in the military in terms of being gay and others who can,” he said. “To me, this is all a contradiction and I’m very disappointed in this position, and I hope whoever our next president is, GOP or Democratic party, that they will continue along the path allowing people to serve openly lesbian and gays, bisexual, transgender persons in the military.”

The father and daughter attended Perry’s townhall Sunday evening because she was angered by one of Perry’s ads running in Iowa, he said.

“My daughter Rebecka particularly was very incensed by the ad Governor Perry ran a week or two ago here in Iowa where he complained about the problem of gays serving openly in the military but Christians not being able to celebrate Christmas openly. He seemed to get that backwards,” Todd Green said.

“It takes no courage to come out of the closet to be a Christian and run for president of the United States,” he said. “I’d be more impressed if you were Muslim or an atheist and coming out like that, but to come out as though this was an act of courage for him to proclaim his Christian faith, but he also wants to take the stand against gays in the military. This is someone who’s in the position of power and privilege and he’s abusing it.”

Perry is under the mistaken impression that his faith should be a deciding factor in how America should be governed. Were Perry to invoke with consistency his faith as Commander In Chief, he would be forced to fire an estimated 3500 to 13500 Muslim American soldiers, and 66,500 gay, lesbian, and bisexual American soldiers. Perry has indicated he does not believe Mormons are Christians, so an estimated 17,000 active duty Mormons serving would have to go. Additionally, Perry would have to fire 214,000 active duty women and 200,000 women in the reserves and national guard.


All told, a President Perry as Commander In Chief would be faith-driven to reduce America’s armed forces by, conservatively, at least 500,000 service members, or more than 16% of America’s military.

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atalanta20 December 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

So when Obama joins 70-80% of the public in supporting DADT repeal, he's being "forced by his base". But when a Republican joins 45% of the public and opposes gay marriage, that's speaking for the people? Perry needs to repeat 3rd grade math.

teedofftaxpayer December 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

What do you expect from the Republican Presidential candidate? Come on not one of them is worth voting for. This crop of candidates are as a big as joke as Trump. I think the Republicans need to change their name to the Religious Party.

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