Sorry, Republican Tennessee congressional candidates Dr. Ron Kirkland and Randy Smith: What happens in Paris (Tennessee) does not stay in Paris (Tennessee). Like those comments you both made last week about gays in America’s military being “taken care of”? And not in the sexual sense, but in the gay bashing sense?
The two were asked about the potential repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy by members of the “Volunteers for Freedom” Tea Party group, who sponsored Thursday’s forum in Paris. The question, at one point, asserted that gays have an extremely medically destructive lifestyle and, because of that, a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would lead to the federal government spending more on health care costs.
Kirkland, of Jackson, referred to his Army training during the Vietnam War and said: “I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can’t describe to you.” Smith, a chef from Mercer who served in the Navy during the Gulf War, said: “I definitely wouldn’t want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said.”
Asked about his comment after the debate, Kirkland said, “It’s a joke.” He then explained why he thinks “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” exists and is still needed.
Afterward Smith told a reporter, the Jackson Sun reports, “he apologizes to those who took offense to his comment and that he has a gay daughter, but he maintained that he was ‘telling it how it is actually.’”
As for Kirkland? His camp says he won’t be apologizing. And while Kirkland remains a defender of DADT (“I don’t even like unisex bathrooms”), it’s not like he was encouraging violence against gays! He was just offering his forecast about what would happen if DADT was repealed; namely, openly gay soldiers would get hazed.
Which says less about what Kirkland thinks about gay people, and more about what he thinks about American soldiers. Namely, that they would all intentionally inflict harm on their comrades. (Not that Kirkland could provide a single example of anti-gay violence in the military during his years of service.)
Does hazing in the military exist? Sure. But here’s a military veteran recommending keeping a discriminatory policy in place because straight soldiers — trusted to hunt down terrorists, keep conflict areas peaceful, and maintain this nation’s security — cannot be trusted not to inflict harm on their own. Yeah, vote for THIS GUY.