Military Chaplains To Hold News Conference Opposing Overturning of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' <


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Military Chaplains To Hold News Conference Opposing Overturning of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Apr 27, 2010 - Family Research Council President and Marine veteran Tony Perkins will join Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The event will announce the release of a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, signed by more than 40 retired military chaplains (To view letter).

The letter addresses the chaplains' religious liberty concerns with the proposal to overturn the law against the practice of open homosexual behavior in the military, frequently referred to as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.

The letter outlines numerous practical ways that normalizing homosexual behavior in the military would necessarily harm religious liberty for both chaplains and service members.


Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council is supporting this action. Anthony Richard "Tony" Perkins (born March 20, 1963) is an American political activist. Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian think-tank and public policy foundation based in Washington, D.C. Perkins formerly resided in Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, when he served two terms as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Perkins was reared in Cleveland in Pawnee County in northern Oklahoma and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1981. He is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. After graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps. Following his tour of duty, he entered the law enforcement arena, working for the Baton Rouge city Police. During this time, he also worked with the U.S. State Department's Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program and instructed police officers from around the globe. He also earned an M.P.A. from Louisiana State University.

Views on gay marriage, Perkins has urged Congress to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment which would define marriage as the union between one man and one woman in the United States. He has also criticized civil unions. In Perkins' own words, from a July 21, 2006, column in the publication Human Events.

"The definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is rooted in the order of nature itself. It promotes the continuation of the human race and the cooperation of a mother and a father in raising the children they produce.


"This union can only be protected through amending the United States Constitution. If it's not, activists will continue using the courts to sell a five-legged dog. But as we say where I'm from in Louisiana, 'that dog won't hunt.'"

Perkins' opposition to same-sex unions is shared by his former Louisiana legislative colleague, Heulette Fontenot, who as a state senator in 2001 secured passage of a bill to disallow domestic partnerships in Louisiana or to recognize such relationships approved in other states.

Perkins became the President of the conservative Christian Family Research Council, a political offshoot of James Dobson's Focus on the Family, in September 2003. He succeeded Kenneth L. "Ken" Connor, who returned to Florida to practice law. In taking the Family Research presidency, Perkins abandoned his pending race for Louisiana state insurance commissioner. The incumbent, Democrat J. Robert Wooley, was then reelected over Perkins' endorsed choice, Republican former legislative auditor Dan Kyle. In 2006, Wooley resigned the position, and it was taken by his Republican first assistant, Jim Donelon.

In November 2009, Perkins signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.

The Nation claims that in 1996, Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for use of his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was campaign manager for Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the Jenkins campaign $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.

The Family Research Council says Blumenthal's claims about Perkins' connection to David Duke are false; FRC adds that Duke's "connection was not known to Mr. Perkins until 1999. Mr. Perkins claims to oppose the racial views of Mr. Duke and expresses grief to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign."


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