Repeal of DADT Still Doesn't Mean You Can Ask

The repeated warnings that repealing "don't ask, don't tell" would open the door for religious discrimination were ignored, and we are already beginning to see the toxic fallout from this mistaken move. After DADT was stripped away last year, the military entered 2012 in a whole new world. It's one in which the dismantling of DADT has actually provided homosexual activists the momentum they needed to step up and try to fashion not just the military in their own image, but other related agencies and associations as well.

For example, the Dallas Veterans Association Medical Center recently fired a nurse practitioner merely for allegedly suggesting that a female Marine's extreme depression might be traced to her practice of homosexual behavior – an opinion supported by ample social science. There was no suggestion that the nurse practitioner acted out of anything but sincere concern and compassion for her patient. Or perhaps it was fact that nurse Lincy Pandithurai dared to also share her Christian faith to encourage her patient? Homosexual advocates love to target Christians, and their message of hope, and in this case were successful in pressuring the VA to turn on its own employee.

But the tragedy of what happened to this one nurse isn't the whole story. Of all the lessons that can be drawn from this event, perhaps the most alarming is found in the statement the VA medical center released upon announcing Ms. Pandithurai's termination:

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VA North Texas Health Care System will continue to provide an environment where veterans can receive the physical and emotional healing that they desire and deserve….We remain committed to respecting diversity and providing the best possible care to all veterans. Our commitment to equal rights remains strong as we practice our core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence. Ms. Pandithurai will retire from federal service effective January 21, 2012. (Italics added)

Note the statement says the VA medical center is committed to "respect," "diversity," and "equal rights." Really?

How do they square that statement with what appears to now be a clearly established faith-free zone, and how did they respect the "diversity" of this nurse whose Christian faith is being singled out? Moreover, how are they granting "equal rights" when a healthcare professional expresses an alternative view?

On the surface, it seems "respect for all" really just means "respect for all who agree." And this ignores an important question – What if the nurse was right in her diagnosis and the homosexual behavior is a contributing factor to the extreme depression?

Nevertheless, it appears the VA would rather embrace political correctness and yield to the demands of outside groups than deliver "the physical and emotional healing" that this patient deserves.

When the activists succeeded in getting DADT repealed, they knew full well that it didn't end there. It was only the next step in the quest to redefine social norms and reorder nature. This is just another incident that exposes their rules of engagement – to free up their speech while constraining the speech of everyone who disapproves or disagrees with their chosen sexual behavior. Perhaps to them, squelching speech is merely "collateral damage," but to the majority of Americans, who still hold dear the fundamental liberties of religious expression and speech, this is a direct broadside against our constitution and the people whom the constitution was intended to serve.

To the VA I say this: Restore this nurse's job, but most importantly, restore her fundamental rights.

Douglas H. Napier serves as Senior Vice-President-Legal with the Alliance Defense Fund at its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he leads a litigation team of approximately 40 attorneys and legal support staff at offices in District of Columbia, Arizona, Kansas, California, Georgia, and Tennessee.

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