Senator, Veteran Larry Craig, shortly after men's room guilty plea, props up Don't Ask, Don't Tell in letter to constituent
PageOneQ has received an exclusive copy of a letter written by Idaho GOP Senator and veteran Larry Craig to a constituent. The letter is dated just eleven days after his admission of guilt in connection with a Minnesota men's room sex sting. It expresses Craig's vehement opposition to repealing the US military's embattled Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which bars gay and lesbian servicemembers from serving their country openly.
Senator Craig, who served in the Idaho National Guard in the early 1970s, is married with three adopted children. As the Idaho Statesman reports today, he has been dogged with various allegations, dating back to his college days, of sexual advances of a same-sex nature along with anonymous encounters in public places. Perhaps most notably, in 1982, Craig pre-emptively denied having sex with underage male Congressional pages in the high-profile scandal, as previously documented on Mike Rogers' blogACTIVE.
More recently, Senator Craig has been a vocal supporter of anti-gay legislation on both a state and federal level. In addition to his 2002 vote against adding sexual orientation to federal hate crime criteria, he supported the Federal Marriage Amendment. In his home state, Craig hailed HJR 2, which banned all legal recognition of same-sex families in Idaho.
SLDN director Steve Ralls says, in a statement to PageOneQ: "As a veteran of the armed forces, Senator Craig knows very well that there are lesbian and gay Americans who have served, and continue to serve, our nation well. Those service members and veterans are an asset - not a risk - to our national security, and Senator Craig should be ashamed of himself for denigrating their service. LGBT patriots have a long history of service to our country -- in the armed forces, the federal government and our communities -- and they deserve better than to be the target of Senator Craig's tired and tedious rhetoric and rants. One thinks the Senator, perhaps, doth protest too much."
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, H.R.1246 I appreciate your letter and I apologize for the delay in my response.
H.R.1246 is currently in the subcommittee on Military Personnel of the Committee on Armed Services. I am currently unaware of any similar legislation in the Senate regarding this issue.
I am glad you shared your suggestions with me. As you know, the Department of Defense's policy on this issue is commonly referred to as a "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy and would not allow for singling out homosexuals. In addition, I don't believe the military should be a place for social experimentation. The sole mission of the armed forces is to defend the United States.
Patriotism and the willingness to sacrifice on behalf of our country are character traits I wholeheartedly encourage and I believe every American should have the opportunity to engage in the service of our country in some capacity. However, the issue is not fairness, but military effectiveness. The armed forces exist to wage war. It is unacceptable to risk the lives of American soldiers and sailors merely to accommodate the sexual lifestyles of certain individuals.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.