Skip to main content

The American Taliban in the House took front row center yesterday in what was ostensibly a markup for the 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill. Things didn't quite work as planned in their marathon session.

via Fox News:

The House Armed Services Committee labored throughout the day Wednesday and into the wee hours of Thursday morning, crafting a massive Pentagon funding measure. But the heat yielded by the gay marriage issue was so incandescent that it cauterized traditional military topics and spurred the feistiest debate of the marathon session.

Most of these lengthy Armed Services meetings are sprinkled with discussions about MRAPs, JDAMs, engines for the Joint Strike Fighter and troop rotations.

But the colloquy about providing for the common defense of the United States devolved into a debate about stoning, sin, parsonical rights, "gayness" and canonical interpretations of the Old Testament.

Steven Palazzo (R-MS) wanted a provision banning same-sex marriages ceremonies on all military facilities. Todd Akin (R-MO) wanted a "conscience clause" so that  military chaplains could refuse to wed gay and lesbian couples. And on and on it went. For hours.

Loretta Sanchez and other Democrats took the "conscience clause" to it's logical conclusion, wondering what happens when a service member just doesn't believe in others' "gayness". Austin Scott (R-GA) took exception to her reasoning, using the nasty bits from the Old Testament about stoning and putting to death gays.

Again, Chad Pergram at Fox's Politics Blog captured some of the exchange between Austin Scott (R-GA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

But Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) took particular issue with Akin's amendment. In addition to giving protection to chaplains, Akin's effort shields service members morally opposed to homosexuality.

Sanchez posed a hypothetical scenario to her colleagues about the consequences service members might face if they didn't, as she put it, "believe in ‘gayness.'"

Her use of the word "gayness" triggered chortles from the audience and raised the eyebrows of lawmakers and Congressional aides alike, stationed on the hearing room dais.

Sanchez then dipped into an interpretation of the Scriptures.

"Let's just say I read the Bible and it says gays should be killed. Stoned," Sanchez began.

Lawmakers who were slumped in their chairs suddenly sat up, ram-rod straight. Those listening to the proceedings, leafing through copies of Roll Call set the publications aside. Reporters posted in the back of the hearing room began pecking feverishly on laptop keyboards. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and other GOP members shot steely glances at Sanchez and demanded doctrinal clarification from the Bible.

Moments later, Sanchez quoted Scripture.

"If you read Leviticus 20:13, it says man must be put to death if man has sexual relations with not a woman," Sanchez said.

"That's the Old Testament," protested Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA).

"It's the Bible!" shot back Sanchez.

Scott then blasted Sanchez, declaring he was "taken aback by those comments." She tried to get a word in edgewise, inquiring if the Georgia Republican would yield.

"I am not yielding any more time to you," snapped Scott. "I have heard enough."

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site