Rep. Gohmert: Repealing DADT Would Signal 'The End Of Our Existence As A Great Nation'

December 15, 2010 5:52 pm ET — Kate Conway

Rep. Phil Gingrey

Before the House passed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" today, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) had some exceptionally creative arguments for why it's imperative that the policy remain.

Amid his impassioned (and bizarre) speech, Gohmert addressed the argument that it's inconsistent with American values to exclude openly gay people from military service, explaining that the military as a whole "is inconsistent with American values."

Now we were told "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is inconsistent with American values. I would submit the military ... the military is inconsistent with American values. It does not have freedom of speech. It does not have freedom of assembly. It does not have the freedom to express its love to those in the military the way you can out here. Because it's an impediment to the military mission.

But Gohmert's strangest argument came at the end of his brief floor speech, when he suggested that allowing gay men and women to serve openly would be a portent that the United States is heading "toward the end of [its] existence as a great nation."

And to my friend who said history will judge us poorly, I would submit if you will look thoroughly at history — and I'm not saying it's cause and effect — but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that fine for homosexuality to be overt — you can keep it private and control your hormones, fine, if you can't, that's fine too — they are toward the end of their existence as a great nation. Let's look at this more carefully before we harm our military.

He's not "saying it's cause and effect," mind you; he's just saying there's a pattern. Except that there's not. At least 24 foreign militaries — in countries like Great Britain, Canada, and Israel — have overturned similar policies, and "[n]one has reported any detriment to cohesion, readiness, recruiting, morale, retention or any other measure of effectiveness or quality" — nor has any experienced an apocalyptic demise.

Watch Gohmert's whole speech: