Outgoing Rep. Todd ’Legitimate Rape’ Akin Pushes Anti-Gay Measure
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) who lost to his Democratic rival, Claire McCaskill, in November after making headlines for his statement about rape, will be leaving Congress soon. The right-winger is making one last effort, however, before he bids adieu to public life: This time, he's targeting gay military members.
As Mother Jones reports, Akin, who has said that marriage equality will cause civilization as we know it to come to an end, wants to undermine the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with a provision that would ostensibly protect military member's religious beliefs. He first proposed the provision in May for the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
His "conscience clause" would would force the military to "accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs of the members of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality," as reported by the Washington Blade.
LGBT activists say that the measure would allow troops to discriminate against out-service members by citing their religious beliefs on homosexuality. "It carves out a set of special rights for those who would want to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation," Allyson Robinson, an Army veteran and executive director Outserve-Service Members Legal Defense Network, said. "What this language does is make it less clear to that unit commander on the ground how they should implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal."
The White House responded to Akin's provision, and to another measure that bans the celebration of same-sex unions on military facilities, by condemning them as "harmful to good order and discipline."
The U.S. Senate passed its version of the bill two weeks ago without any such wording. Akin is being aided by Republicans like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon.
Nor is this the first time Akin has attacked the LGBT community.
"Anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived," he said in 2006. The Human Rights Campaign has awarded him a big, fat 0 for his views on gay rights.
After unexpectedly winning a three-person GOP primary for the Senate, Akin was thrown into the media spotlight in August for comments against abortion. "If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said at the time.
Widely expected to defeat McCaskill, she instead won a narrow victory.