Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family
Research Council (FRC), says giving gay troops time to marry
discriminates against straight troops.
The policy, which went into effect September 3, allows gay service
members in the U.S as many as seven days of extra leave to get
hitched if they are stationed more than 100 miles from one of the 13
states plus the District of Columbia which have legalized gay
nuptials. Overseas personnel will get as many as 10 days to return
to the U.S. to exchange vows.
Never mind that all heterosexual troops, unlike gay troops, can
marry on military bases throughout the world and in all 50 U.S.
states, Perkins says the policy is biased.
“Thanks to the Pentagon, taxpayers are giving gay service
members quite a wedding gift,” Perkins
told his radio listeners. “According to the Defense
Department, homosexual troops are getting some extra incentives to
get hitched – including 10 days of bonus leave. The AP says gay
and lesbian military members will get as many as two weeks of extra
vacation time to travel to states that allow same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department says it 'remains committed to
ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.S. military …
are treated fairly.' If that were true, heterosexual couples would
be getting the same benefits. See, this special, taxpayer-funded
leave isn't just expensive – it's discriminatory. According to the
Pentagon, heterosexual couples aren't eligible. How's that for
equality? The administration says this perk 'level[s] the playing
field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples.' But when it comes
to extra vacation days, the only thing the military is taking leave
of is their senses!”