MARCHING ORDERS

GOP Lawmakers Attack Pentagon For Allowing Uniformed Soldiers At Pride Parade

Most Republicans have given up the ghost on the issues of gays in the military, but two top GOP congressmen obviously think the economy, unemployment and implementing health-care reforms are of less importance than rehashing whether soldiers should have marched in uniform at the recent San Diego Pride parade.

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Rep. James Inhofe (R-OK) criticized the DOD’s decision to issue a one-time exception that allowing service members to wear their uniforms at the event:

“If the Navy can punish a chaplain for participating in a pro-life event or a Marine participating in a political rally, it stands to reason that DOD should maintain the same standard and preclude service members in uniform from marching in a gay-pride parade.

I respectfully request a detailed explanation of the rationale you used to grant this ‘one-time waiver’ of DOD policy, who requested the waiver, why this waiver was considered justified over other requests, and whether you are considering other exceptions to current policy.”

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) called on the Department of Defense to “halt these dangerous exceptions to policy for political purposes,” calling the waiver  “an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this Administration’s social agenda.”

Just to give you a little context, Inhofe is the guy who proudly boasted he’s never had a gay person in his family (and won’t hire any for his staff), and Forbes has tried to pass legislation declaring “the Holy Bible is God’s Word”

But setting that aside, do they have a point? Is a gay Pride parade a political event—something military personnel are banned from endorsing across the board? Or is it more of a cultural event, like a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Is there such a thing as a non-political event any more?

March into the comments and weigh in.

Photo: San Diego Pride