Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"No, their presence can undermine military cohesion." Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in a radio interview with Editor John Lofton on "The American View" (accessed July 30, 2008):
Bob Barr: "I think that the criteria for serving in the military ought to be the standard of does the behavior interfere with the good order and discipline of the military. So long as an individual's behavior within the military does not interfere with that and the military commanders are able to assure themselves and those with whom each individual works in the military that their behavior does not interfere with the discipline and good order of the military that that should remain the criteria."
Q: "Well, it sounds like you support 'don't ask, don't tell...'"
Barr: "I have actually written against that. I think it's an artificial criteria. What I support is to make sure that our military commanders and our military command is the finest, remains the finest, where you have a clear order of command and that the good order and discipline, the ability to assure that a command is carried out is done so without interference of personal relationships." July 30, 2008 Bob Barr
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg, FL, hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), YouTube, and the Republican Party of Florida:
"All the time, I talk to our military leaders, beginning with our joint chiefs of staff and the leaders in the field, such as General Petraeus and General Odierno and others who are designated leaders with the responsibility of the safety of the men and women under their command and their security and protect them as best they can.
Almost unanimously, they tell me that this present policy [Don't Ask/Don't Tell: No openly gay people in military] is working, that we have the best military in history, that we have the bravest, most professional, best prepared, and that this policy ought to be continued because it's working." Nov. 28, 2007 John McCain
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), according to the Library of Congress: THOMAS website, cosponsored the "Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2005" (H.R. 1059) on Mar. 2, 2005:
"To amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." Mar. 2, 2005 Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, issued the following statement through his Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, in an Oct. 20, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), stated in a June 1, 2007 press release titled "Obama Statement on Pride Month" on his official campaign website:
"It's time to turn the page on the bitterness and bigotry that fill so much of today's LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] rights debate. The rights of all Americans should be protected -- whether it's at work or anyplace else. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' needs to be repealed because patriotism and a sense of duty should be the key tests for military service, not sexual orientation." June 1, 2007 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), stated at the June 3, 2007 Democrats' Second 2008 Presidential Debate held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH and hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN):
"...[P]robably since the very beginning of our nation we've had gays serving in our military with distinction and honor on behalf of our country, as we do today. And yet I have watched how 'don't ask/don't tell' has been implemented. And I've concluded that it is not the best way for us as a nation to proceed. It has been in many instances implemented in a discriminatory manner.
You know, after the first Gulf War there was a big flood of discharges of gays and lesbians because they let them serve and then after they finished the war, then they discharged them. In this particular time period, we've had Arabic linguists discharged under 'don't ask/don't tell' when we are unfortunately so short of having people who speak the very language that our men and women in uniform have to understand in the streets of Baghdad. So I believe we could change the policy to let gays and lesbians serve in the military and be covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So just like those who are not gays and lesbians, if there were conduct problems, then the conduct problems we looked at. But people would not be judged on who they are...
And I just want to end by saying Barry Goldwater once said you don't have to be straight to shoot straight.
And I think he was right...And I believe we should open up our military." June 3, 2007 Hillary Clinton
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), stated in a Feb. 28, 2007 article titled "Edwards Statement On The Military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy" on his official candidate website:
"It is long past time to end the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military. It is critical to our national security that we have the best people in our military. Gay men and women have continually served our country with honor and bravery, and we should honor their commitment and never turn away anyone who is willing to serve their country because of their sexual orientation.
This is an issue of fundamental fairness - and our military ought to treat everyone fairly." Feb. 28, 2007 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, stated at the June 5, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate held at Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), WMURTV and The New Hampshire Union Leader:
"This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this [gays in the military]. Back in 1994 we went through this. And it created a tremendous amount of disruption. Colin Powell, I think, was still the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he left at the beginning of the Clinton administration. He came to the view that this was a good policy.
And I think in time of war, in a time where we're trying to deal with this transition to a new kind of warfare that we have to be fighting -- and we haven't gotten all the way there yet. We need a hybrid army, we need to look at nation-building as part of what we have to teach our military. I don't think this would be the right time to raise these issues...
And I think we should rely on the judgment of our commanders in a situation like this. They know what's disruptive and what's not. And at a time of war, you don't make fundamental changes like this [allow openly gay people to serve in the military]." June 5, 2007Rudy Giuliani
Mike Gravel, former US Senator (D-AK), stated at the June 3, 2007 Democrats' Second 2008 Presidential Debate, hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), WMURTV, and The New Hampshire Union Leader held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH:
"...I'd be careful with the President, former President [Bill Clinton], because I know he wimped out with respect to gays in the military.
I'd only wished that he had been like Harry Truman who stood up to Omar Bradley when he integrated the services, which made possible for Colin Powell to now stare down the President of the United States when the President should have demanded immediate integration."
June 3, 2007 Mike Gravel
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg, FL hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), YouTube, and the Republican Party of Florida, stated:
"The Uniform Code of Military Justice is probably the best rule [Don't Ask/Don't Tell: No openly gay people in military], and it has to do with conduct. People have a right to have whatever feelings, whatever attitudes they wish, but when their conduct could put at risk the morale, or put at risk even the cohesion that Duncan Hunter spoke of, I think that's what is at issue. And that's why our policy is what it is." Nov. 28, 2007 Mike Huckabee
ProCon.org emailed the Imperato campaign on Feb. 22, 2008 with this question. Mr. Imperato provided a response to this question and 26 others during a recorded 45-minute telephone interview with ProCon.org on Mar. 11, 2008. On Mar. 21, 2008 Mr. Imperato no longer met our eligibility criteria for inclusion on this site, and we stopped transcribing his verbal responses as of that date.
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in a Jan. 19, 2000 article titled "Alan Keyes on C-SPAN's Washington Journal" on the Alan Keyes Archives website:
"I believe that we need to return to the ban on gays in the military. The present situation is intolerable. And I know that John McCain supports Clinton's policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.' I think it puts an intolerable burden on the military.
Consider what you are saying. You are actually looking at people who are homosexual, and you are kind of saying, 'come on in, we'll wink at it.' Right? Giving the impression that it is not something that is going to be looked upon as a violation. Meanwhile, the regulations stay in place, right? And the people who have responsibility in the military, who then come across information that suggests that those regulations are being violated--what are they supposed to do?
You have created, in effect, a gray area. And guess what happens in a military chain of command when you have that kind of gray area? You give rise to a lack of confidence, to resentment, to a lack of confidence on the part of military authorities in enforcing the regulations. And, of course, you give rise to possibilities of abuse, where subjective judgments can be interposed in order to play favorites and otherwise have trouble with individuals."
Jan. 19, 2000 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Jan. 31, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Gay people should be allowed to serve in the US military, marry their partners, and otherwise enjoy full equality under the law. Whether or not they are 'openly' gay is irrelevant -- whether or not anyone publicly declares his or her sexual orientation is a personal decision. I advocate repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' and its replacement with 'don't ask, who cares?'" Jan. 31, 2008 Steve Kubby
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Jan. 24, 2008 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"Yes, people are people and should be allowed equal, but not preferential, treatment under all laws and in all circumstances. However, there should never be a category of gay rights. Everyone should just have the same rights." Jan. 24, 2008 Frank McEnulty
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated at the June 5, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), WMURTV, and The New Hampshire Union Leader:
"I think the current policy [Don't Ask/Don't Tell: No openly gay people in military] is a decent policy. And the problem that we have with dealing with this subject is we see people as groups, as they belong to certain groups and that they derive their rights as belonging to groups.
We don't get our rights because we're gays or women or minorities. We get our rights from our creator as individuals. So every individual should be treated the same way.
So if there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. But if there's heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with.
So it isn't the issue of homosexuality. It's the concept and the understanding of individual rights. If we understood that, we would not be dealing with this very important problem." June 5, 2007 Ron Paul
[Editor's Note: ProCon.org has been unable to find Ron Paul's pro or con position to this question. We emailed and placed phone calls to Ron Paul's campaign on Jan. 21, Feb. 11, Mar. 31, and Apr. 10, 2008 to have Dr. Paul clarify his views on this question. In a phone call with ProCon.org on Mar. 31, Matthew Hawes, Policy Assistant for the Ron Paul campaign, said that he would look further into the matter. On Apr. 14, 2008, ProCon.org received an email from Mr. Hawes stating that he would "try to have an answer" to us "soon."]
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg, FL, hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), YouTube, and the Republican Party of Florida, stated:
"[Anderson] Cooper: Governor Romney, you said in 1994 that you looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve, and I quote, 'openly and honestly in our nation's military.' Do you stand by that?
[Mitt] Romney: This isn't that time. This is not that time. We're in the middle of a war. The people who have...
Cooper: Do you look forward to that time, though, one day?
Romney: I'm going to listen to the people who run the military to see what the circumstances are like. And my view is that, at this stage, this is not the time for us to make that kind of...
Cooper: Is that a change in your position... Romney: Yes, I didn't think it would work. I didn't think 'don't ask/don't tell' would work. That was my -- I didn't think that would work. I thought that was a policy, when I heard about it, I laughed. I said that doesn't make any sense to me. And you know what? It's been there now for, what, 15 years? It seems to have worked.
Cooper: So, just so I'm clear, at this point, do you still look forward to a day when gays can serve openly in the military or no longer?
Romney: I look forward to hearing from the military exactly what they believe is the right way to have the right kind of cohesion and support in our troops and I listen to what they have to say."
Nov. 28, 2007 Mitt Romney