Oh, Say Can You See

U.S. Soldier Flies Rainbow Flag in Afghanistan, Professional Homophobe Flips Out

You would think that religious right leaders would be happy to see a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan flying a flag. But when the flag is of the rainbow variety, it’s time for the full freakout that includes suggesting that it will lead to deaths of American soldiers (presumably none of whom are gay).

It all began with an image posted on the Facebook wall for Wipeout Homophobia by Nicole Jodice on March 24.

“hubbie in afghanistan raising a gay pride flag = )” she wrote.

It’s an amazing photo: Demonstrating just how fast the military’s institutional homophobia is falling.

That would have been the end of it, but of course nothing that smacks of tolerance can escape the detection of the religious right. In this case, Tony Perkins, head of the designated hate group Family Research Council, sympathized with fundamentalist Muslims who might be driven to murder our soldiers because they’re homophobes, too.

“Where is the concern now for angering Afghan Muslims, who vehemently oppose homosexuality?” Perkins lamented. “The issue is as much an issue of military security as it is of religious morality. After February’s accident with the Korans, American lives were lost. What price will we pay because some want to use the military to show their gay pride?”

We’re touched that Perkins should suddenly be so concerned about the accidental burning of Korans by American soldiers, an incident that he said just three weeks ago “doesn’t hold a torch to what’s happening to faith in America.” And unless we’re mistaken–and we’re not–this is the same Tony Perkins who called Islam “evil” and said that “the Islamists and the homosexuals work out of the same playbook” (presumably the Tehran edition of Vogue).

Apparently, a rainbow flag is such a provocation that it excuses attacks on our troops. Or it could be a sign of the strength of our diversity and tolerance, principles we’re supposed to treasure. We’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Photo via

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  • Bipolar Bear

    Islamic extremists get pissed off over cartoons, for god’s sake. The very fact the troops are there will have them pissed off enough already. Tony Perkins is like a flounder on land – the perfect flip-flopper for every occasion.

  • Bob

    @Bipolar Bear: Sort of like Mitt Romney?

  • jon

    The Afghans are not stupid. They know Americans are Americans and don’t have the same views and values as themselves. Just don’t piss on their religion and way of life. Of course invasion will piss on these things. So the rainbow flag, not a big deal.

  • michael

    This could be the dumbest statement ever made by Perkins… So let me get this right, the gay flag will erase the true love they have for America. Yup, our invasion and the death of their people at our hands has nothing to do with it.

    Btw, the best aspect of this story is its a heterosexual man raising the gay flag. Suck on it Perkins.

  • Gigi

    If the soldier was burning the Koran while raising the Pride flag, or if the flag had a cartoon effigy of Mohammed, then there would have been bloodshed. This was not the case.
    No one was harmed or threatened in any way. Perkins is a prissy little prig. Much ado about nothing. Manufactured controversy a la the Christian Reich.

  • Cam

    ““Where is the concern now for angering Afghan Muslims, who vehemently oppose homosexuality?”

    So then Perkins must also feel that we should have women soldiers cover their faces and be submissive to all men, etc…

  • Curtis

    The military is a morally bankrupt institution with the sole suppose of committing genocide.
    So as great as it is to see gay men and women doing their bidding.. It really just makes my heart swell with pride to see that the LGBT community can now officially be recognized as a part our GREAT military.. great.

  • Soldier

    I think the conservatives should go fly a kite. The military allows gays and lesbians not like we werent always there but now we can not have to live a double life. I think this is the problem with America its okay to be the land of peace and hope and freedom until your freedom means being gay. LIFE LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS is what we hold dear unless it can be twisted into a religious battle. If you got a problem with gay soldiers because one verse in a bible dont let people see you in mixed blend clothes like your suits and jeans. if you want to hold the bible as a weapon you should follow the instruction manual.

  • Liz

    I love that it’s a straight man flying the gay pride flag. ^_^ What a beautiful show of solidarity. <3 STR8 AGAINST H8!!!!!! <3

  • Curtis

    What do any of your beliefs have to do with the rest of the world..? unless you think our government has the right to implement those beliefs of every other nation, by force..

  • mike

    if they cant fly a gay pride flag then they should not be able to fly the american flag either

  • J

    Mike the American flag is of America…something every soldier has to defend with their life. I’m not against gays because if you will cover my ass in a combat zone I honestly don’t care what you are because we are all brothers. But just because you are gay doesn’t mean you have to wave a flag for it especially in a deployed zone. That is very innapropriate. If there was a straight flag I wouldn’t wave it there. Quit acting like it is a religion. It is your way of life and you should be proud but you shouldn’t act like you are better than all straight people just as all straight people should respect your rights. America doesn’t not stand for just gay rights, America stands for everyone’s rights. And anyway if he did not have proper authority to raise that flag which I am sure he didn’t because it probably goes against the uniformed code of military justice. Just for y’all civillians who have no idea what it is like to be in the military there are certain rules that do not apply to you. Don’t respect a soldier for waving a gay flag, respect a soldier because he is willing to die to protect your rights.

  • mike

    @J: get the f#$k real

  • Curtis

    @J: Go kill a baby, douche.

  • mike

    @Curtis: so funny

  • J

    Like I said I respect your way of life and because of the freedom and peace the military allows you are able to be as proud as you want. Soldiers give their lives everyday. Not because they believe in what you believe but because they believe in America and you have every right to be gay

  • J

    @Curtis: And btw because I am straight and don’t diectly supportt your beliefs means I kill babies…but youre buddy who is flying a gay flag is obviously humane and doesn’t do that. You are just as two faced as Perkins. You aren’t better than him, you are the same or worse. Look in the mirror and make sure you are flawless before you criticize other people. Something the military would teach you

  • Curtis

    My, God.. if only you had the intelligence to see the irony in this..

    You seem to want to compare me to a person like Perkins, but in all reality, you are the epitome of the man.
    You are a “straight” man who supports the military, a dog of the military, and you want to compare me to Perkins?!?..
    Listen Douche.. Go kill a baby like your “brothers” before you.
    If you had half a brain you would realize that, (like I said before) the military is an origination created to to commit mass genocide.. and amazingly, several thousand years later, its still fucking happening because of stupid, ignorant, incapable of self thought, dogs like you.
    Have fun doing the savage, horrendous and evil bidding of the rich and powerful, for the rich and powerful, in a foreign land, while you continue to “protect US soil.”
    You have no honor.. What the fuck do you think you are fighting for??

  • Triple S

    “Where is the concern now for angering Afghan Muslims, who vehemently oppose homosexuality?”

    Cause they need to get the fuck over it and stop murdering innocent people. Why is this world filled with the most god-awful people? Betcha he wouldn’t go over there to preach the ‘wonderful and unconditionally loving’ message of God (yeah, right. Emphasis on the ‘unconditionally loving’ part) would he?

  • J

    I’m fighting so you can say shit like that.

  • ~PR~

    @J: ignore him. almost everyone else does. Thank you for your service.

  • Brand

    @J: I’ve got several thoughts on the various angles of this issue that I can’t take the time and the focus to post at the moment, but I had to stand up for J and say I agree with a lot of what he says here. He’s not on here calling people ugly names and saying vile things, that’s what is being said against him, and I for one don’t condone that. I apologize for that. I thank him and his fellow service members for their service, and I thank him for his civil contribution to the discussion here.

  • soldier

    @ Curtis

    What do my beliefs ha e to do with the rest of the world?

    Well considering my comment was about America’s homophobia from the conservatives, it does nit impact theworld. As far as America forcing its beliefs on the world look at Iraq, Russia, south Korea, etc. We forced our “Democratic” government on them. In Iraq we said dictator bad president good. I. Russia we said no economic trade or support until the abandoned the Communist rule. And we are still in Korea to make sure the north does not unify with the south under their Communist government. As if it is America’s place to yell other nations how to live.

    We can’t keep our country in economic saftey, we can’t keep our our government free of scandal, we can’t even give all of our citizens equal rights and legal protections, we can’t even maintain independently able to support our energy or product consumption needs. But this isn’t about any of that. Its about the conservative people who swore that gays in the military would kill our armed forces. They seem to think we haven’t always been there.

    A gay man taught the military to March form units squads platoons etc. A gay man taught the military how to be regulated and consistant. A gay man has been soldier of the quarter, and soldier of the year. Gay soldiers have earned purple hearts for their service. Gay and lesbian soldiers have purple hearts, gay and lesbian soldiers have medals of honor, they are enlisted and officers, etc.

    A straight man flew the rainbow flag in a combat zone, that is an amazing show of support for his battle buddies over their who are gay and lesbian. Unless you lived through don’t ask don’t tell as a gay or les Ian service member you won’t understand the how it is to be there. You wont understand living a double life. You wont understand the moral and emotional debate we had to have everyday in our heads.

    And unless you have been a gay or lesbian service member in combat zone.es you truly wont get how seeing the “gay” flag flown by your straight battle buddies can honestly save your life. I support the troop that flew the flag he took a brave step making his gay and lesbian battle buddies feel accepted and that can be the difference between another troop living or taking their life.

  • soldier


    Dude we all serve for own reasons, not just to defend the American flag. I dont defend the flag. I defend the country’s people and the ideas upon which our nation was founded. I don’t think gays and les Ian’s treat it like a religion you are off base there. You fight in your opinion for freedom but have a problem with a gay flag in a combat zone. Do you have a problem with flags with the image of skulls and cross bones over there or what about flags that support different sports teams? Those are in our combat zones.

    Your comments sound like your a young newbie in the military. You have the gungho feel about you. But don’t ever speak for what ALL service memebers fight for or defend. Youre not in a place to speak for entire armed forces.

    I’m not being a bastard just speaking as the older longer serving Guy passing along things he’s been told and learned in his career.

  • soldier


    Listen douche. If you don’t like the military don’t join it. But don’t have the gull to talk about a military your too pussy shit baby to join. You wanna talk shit about it then have the balls to join it. Then you’ll know what your talking about. Otherwise STFU, grow up and learn some respect. Without us you’d be a subject of the king and queen. Without us you’d be in a nation that was torn apart in civil war or a nation that continues to enslave a part of its population againsts their will.

    Curtis you sound like a kid which wanted to join but wasn’t good enough to make it into the military and so you got a chip on your shoulder. You sound like a punk that has no structure and so you attack those who done the greater service to country that you can’t do.

    But if you truly don’t lime government or its military or the country in general get out! No e to some third world country with no military or governmental protection. Move to some small tribe in Africa and live with infections, death, no cell phone no internet no free speech where talking bad about the tribal leaders or their fighting force can mean death on the spot. Then talk your shit about our nation. Grow up get some perspective on the real world then love back in here.

  • m

    @J: yeah by hiding out in the tents lol

  • m

    @soldier: you really need to grow up

  • J

    My bad, I had my dont ask don’t tell repeal briefing today and talked with my older buddy, you can have that flag overbid you want it. O well, I’m not offended by it and neither should perkins.

  • Curtis

    seriously, “soldier”, you really must grow up.
    Whats most messed up about this whole delusion that you are “defending our right to free speech”, is that it’s really just a shitty cop-out for whats really happening:
    You getting paid by my tax dollars to run around and play soldier in A FOREIGN COUNTRY, protecting the private interests of the handful of people who run the whole country.
    And you use this ridicules excuse that your “protecting my right to free speech”, along with this pathetic macho attitude in order to justify murder..? ..huh..

    Sweetie, the reality is that I protect my own right to free speech with a thing called “protesting.” And just so you know, I have way too much self respect and love for myself and others, for me to ever be a part the military.

    And lastly, how dare you try to act like you own this land and saying I should leave?!
    Can your pea size brain even fathom that because of “soldiers” like you, an entire continent of indigenous people were wiped off the face of the earth?.. Can you even begin to understand that millions of people were living peacefully with the land and with each other, until you “soldiers” came and killed them all?
    Don’t you dare act like you own this land, or that your protecting it.

  • J

    @Curtis: Honestly you dint know what you are talking about. You are not protecting your right of free speech by protesting you are demonstrating it. You have rights because of the freedom that is given to you. Without the military you would be shot dead for
    Protesting because no one would care about your rights

  • Curtis

    J, no, hun.
    Exercising my right to free speech through peaceful protest to the only thing that holds free speech together.
    Wake up. The military does not protect people. They shoot them.
    ..Also can you even explain how it is you think that the military is protecting my right to protest? To my knoledge, Ive been actively protesting this entire time without any military assistance.. If anything, they would be the ones shooting at me.

    You poor sheltered child, you. You think that the military is the only thing keeping me from being “shot dead” because without them, “no one would care about your rights”. In reality, there are a great deal of people who care about my rights, (and they arn’t the military).

    Think before you talk, k? Maybe try broadening your horrizons, before you make some absurd and untrue sweeping generalizations.

  • m

    @Curtis: well said

  • J

    @Curtis: Listen I ain’t your hun, and all I have to say is without a military there would be no right to free speech because we wouldn’t I’ve a constitution saying you did. That was something fought for and won by the evil military. You think before you speak

  • k

    What is really funny to me is that no one considered the possibility that the flag was raised as a joke or a jab. I put a gay pride bumper sticker on a HMMWV that belonged to the PSG of a platoon that we had a rivalry with. The flag raised in that fashion would be EPIC WIN. Much like the placement of a “For Sale” sign on one of the static display helicopters at Fort Campbell.

    @Curtis, I get it; you don’t like the military. Too bad. You are, of course, welcome to state your beliefs; but just because you say it doesn’t make it so. Many people have posted that the Afghani’s will kill us regardless; and to that you are right. So why bitch about this? But on the same argument, why bitch about burning the Koran, or having crosses, or having Bible verses on the ACOGs… Oh yeah, that pisses you off, where this doesn’t. Shrugs… Protest all you want. Scream bitch whine.. whatever you want to do… just don’t forget that without the Military to secure and protect the resources that we use; to provide physical security for the nation, and to engage and destroy the enemies of the United States; your ability to do those things would quickly disappear.

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