Before he leaves Congress, Akin is pushing for one last discriminatory, anti-LGBT bill that would undermine the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Akin was the author of a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act that purportedly protected service members’ religious freedoms and prevented them from being punished as a result of their beliefs.
Under his “conscience protection” clause, the military would have to “accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs of the members of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality.”
According to Akin, this provision is necessary to prevent service members from “being persecuted for their views,” though its broad language would otherwise justify the persecution of others based on their sexual orientation, effectively undermining the DADT repeal.
In May, the House passed the bill with Akin’s hate-mongering in tact but the Senate scrubbed it from their version of the NDAA two weeks ago. However, Akin is pushing for the re-inclusion of his provision with the help of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA).
Both McCain and McKeon have been opposed to gays serving openly in the military and McKeon donated to the Proposition 8 campaign, which banned gay marriage in California. But it seems that the three Republicans have been abandoned by the majority of their party.
The ACLU’s Ian Thompson notes to Mother Jones, “Despite a totally open amendment process in which more than 100 amendments were approved, no senator offered a similar amendment to the Akin language.”
OutServe’s Executive Director Allyson Robinson adds that “after years of saying that repeal of DADT was a threat to unit cohesion, a threat to good order and discipline [and] a threat to morale, turns out that it’s those anti-gay Republicans in Congress who are the real threat.”