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Santorum Says Homosexuality Can Harm Military Unit Cohesion

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    Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks during a press conference to discuss support for passage of the Marriage Amendment in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., July 13, 2004. (Photo by Mannie Garcia/Reuters)
By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor
October 10, 2011|1:48 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained Sunday why he is for reinstating the defunct “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, saying openly gay people in the military can hinder unit cohesion.

“The problem is that sexual activity with people who you are in close quarters with, who happen to be of the same sex, is different than being open about your sexuality,” Santorum told Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday.

The “Fox News Sunday” host asked if the former Pennsylvania senator was suggesting that gay soldiers would hit on their colleagues. Santorum stood his ground.

“They’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people,” replied Santorum, who served as a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Reminding Santorum of his statement against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during a recent GOP primary debate, Wallace quoted a former military official as saying, “The army is not a sociological laboratory. ... Experiments ... are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.” The host then asked if Santorum agreed with Col. Eugene Householder’s writing from the Army Adjutant General’s Office in 1941 opposing induction of blacks in the military.

Santorum contended that homosexuality and the issue of race were “very, very different.”

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“I mean, we are talking about people who are, you know, simply different because of the color of their skin, not because of activities that would cause problems for people living in those close quarters,” Santorum said. “It’s not the same. And I know people try to make it the same, but it is not. It is a behavioral issue, as opposed to a color of the skin issue, and that makes all the difference when it comes to serving in the military,” he added.

Open homosexuality, Santorum maintained, “could hurt our ability to retain and recruit and to put the best fighting force in place.”

“You’re talking about the ability for people to be able to have that unit cohesion, to be able to work together in an efficient fighting way,” he said.

Santorum, a former contributor to Fox News, added that many studies suggest that race and sexuality are two different things.

“There are people who were gay and lived a gay lifestyle and aren’t (homosexual) anymore. I don’t know if that’s a similar situation – I don’t think that’s the case with anybody that is black.”

In the Values Voter straw poll this weekend, Santorum finished third with 16 percent of the vote. Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in first with 37 percent, followed by former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain at 23 percent.

 

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