A Republican lawmaker in Oklahoma wants to reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the state’s National Guard, because “nobody except a couple of radical activists found any harm in the policy.”
State Rep. Mike Reynolds (R) introduced House Bill 2195, which he says is a response to requests by the state’s National Guard. The bill would amend the current state law to include a provision that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, like the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that officially ended last year.
“The main thing it will do is greatly encourage the morale of troops,” Reynolds said. “They have certainly contacted me and said ‘Hey we need this policy back.’”
“It doesn’t say if you are gay you cant join the military, if you are gay you cant be in the military, what it says is don’t go out there and promote it,” Reynolds said.
“It was a policy that was in place for 16 years and nobody except a couple of radical activists found any harm in the policy and as a pay off for those radical activist for helping him become elected, President Barack Obama chose to reverse the policy,” he continued, according to KXII.com.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Network comdemned the bill and argued that it would go farther than the federal DADT policy. “The bill goes beyond the discrimination contained in the now-repealed DADT statute, and allows government officials to directly question someone about their sexual orientation - essentially removing the ‘Don’t Ask’ component contained in DADT.”
“Mike Reynolds has a long-standing history of representing fringe views that rarely have the best interests of all Oklahomans at heart,” said Equality Network chair Laura Belmonte. “This legislation is demoralizing to Oklahoma’s LGBT community and our supporters, and it sends a message that it is acceptable to discriminate against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.