The Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee approved a $553 billion military spending bill and a series of anti-gay amendments intended to stall the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal process. The amendments included California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter's proposal to require that the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps chiefs certify that implementation of DADT repeal will not compromise military readiness. The Hunter Amendment passed 33-27 mostly along party lines.
Hunter said of the military leaders, Obama never served in the military, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has never been in ground combat and Defense Secretary Robert Gates is a political appointee. "I, and others in this room, have more combat experience than the folks who sign off on 'don't ask, don't tell," Hunter said.
Hunter's was the first of several anti-gay amendments, reports Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade.
Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) introduced an amendment mandating that marriage ceremonies on military installations must comply with DOMA and that chaplains can only officiate in their official capacity over such ceremonies if they comply with the anti-gay law...
Another amendment came from Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), whose measure restated that the definition of marriage under DOMA as a union between one man and one woman applies to Defense Department regulations and policies. [...]
Another anticipated anti-gay amendment didn’t see introduction before the committee on Wednesday. Palazzo was expected to introduce an amendment that would require conscience regulations for service members who have religious or moral objections to open service. His office didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on why the measure wasn’t introduced. [...]
The Akin Amendment was in response to Monday's guidance that naval chapels and chaplains on base facilities could be used to celebrate same-sex marriages in states where it is legal. One day later, the policy was abruptly reversed.
The Hunter Amendment has a strong likelihood of passage by the Republican-dominated House. But even if passed, military leaders say DADT repeal "training should be completed by midsummer, setting the stage for certification. That timetable — plus strong opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate — likely will render the House panel's provisions moot," reports the AP.