On November 11th, 2010 I sent an email to Texas Senator John Cornyn telling him that I usually vote based on the whole package of the individual running but that I have changed that viewpoint. At this time, it has become apparent to me that we need to vote for people who make no bones about being in support of a repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and the Defense Of Marriage Act. Both DADT and DOMA are, and have been ruled as being, unconstitutional.
Here is the rather sickening reply that I received back from him.
Later, today or tomorrow I will go through and talk about it piece by piece.
Dear Mr. Diviesti:
Thank you for contacting me about current Department of Defense (DoD) policy regarding sexual orientation and military service and the definition of marriage. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on these matters.
As you know, in 1993, Congress passed legislation to codify the existing military “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which governs homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces. This policy has served our nation well, and I oppose any effort to repeal it. The readiness of our Armed Forces must always be the foremost consideration in any decision regarding military personnel policies, especially as our troops are engaged in two active theaters of conflict.
Furthermore, the four military service chiefs have asked Congress not to act on a repeal of this law before the Pentagon completes a review of the current policy later this year. I am concerned by the blatant disregard that some members of Congress have shown to this request by including provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (H.R. 5136; S. 3454) that would repeal this law. Therefore, I voted against the motion to proceed to consideration of S. 3454.
The United States Government has no higher purpose than keeping the American people safe from harm. Our national security depends on the ability of our Armed Forces’ to maintain military readiness at all times. The linchpin of military readiness lies in maintaining cohesive units consisting of competent, fully trained personnel who share a sense of common purpose and confidence in their unit’s ability to accomplish its mission. Our Armed Forces recruit the finest individuals possible and foster them into world-class Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.
Finally, in 1996 Congress overwhelmingly passed—and former President Bill Clinton signed into law—the Defense of Marriage Act (P.L. 104—199). This federal law defines marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” I agree with this position.
Under the laws, traditions, and customs of all fifty states, marriage has historically been defined as the union of a man and a woman. However, judicial rulings—and outright lawlessness by local officials in some states—have threatened traditional marriage and moved this debate onto the national stage. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas provides lower courts with the leverage needed to invalidate traditional marriage laws. The first major assault on traditional marriage came in Goodridge v. Mass. Dept. of Health, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court—citing the Lawrence decision—overturned that state’s traditional marriage law. Other activist state courts have followed Massachusetts’s lead. In light of these judicial trends, constitutional scholars on both sides of the aisle agree that the Defense of Marriage Act and similar state laws are now in peril. I believe that judges should strictly interpret the law and avoid the temptation to legislate from the bench or color their rulings with personal ideology.
My father served in the military for thirty-one years, and I was privileged to grow up around men and women dedicated to protecting our country. As such, I remain committed to ensuring that our military is the best-trained, best-equipped force in the world and able to maintain a strong national defense. I appreciate your thoughts regarding current military policies, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as these matters are discussed. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856