Will Huckabee Take on Panetta Over Gay Rights?

Accuracy in Media

In a major display of respect for traditional values, hundreds of thousands turned out for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee, who sparked the event, said that the success went beyond “anything I could have imagined” and that stores across the country reported “record, historic sales.”

Huckabee could now turn his attention to a more important fight—how Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is turning the Armed Forces into an arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the major pro-homosexual rights lobby. The stakes in this battle are more than some chicken strips.

By permitting homosexual soldiers to march in their uniforms in support of homosexual rights, including homosexual marriage, Rep. J. Randy Forbes says that Panetta engineered “an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this Administration’s social agenda.” Forbes said the waiver that was granted to benefit the homosexual movement was not justified under the rules and regulations.

Forbes called it “another violation in what has become a pattern of this Administration’s assault on the longstanding history of the Department of Defense as a nonpolitical organization.”

But if Huckabee takes this on, he may run into resistance from his corporate bosses at Fox News, who make grants to the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. In 2006, Fox News gave $10,000 to the group.

What’s more, Fox News host Shepard Smith denounced Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day as the “National Day of Intolerance,” demonstrating his out-of-the-closet sympathies. Liberals interpreted the remark as a swipe at Huckabee. Smith has also indicated his support for homosexual marriage.

The reason for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was the liberal reaction, which included calls for boycotts, to news that the company’s president Dan Cathy had stated his support for traditional marriage. Conservatives decided to strike back in support of the company.

Huckabee declared, “I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld. The Cathy family, led by Chick fil-A founder Truett Cathy, are a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story. Starting at age 46 Truett Cathy built Chick fil-A into a $4 billion a year enterprise with over 1600 stores. At 91, he is still active in the company, but his son Dan runs it day to day as CEO. It’s a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”

In addition to his work at Fox News, Huckabee hosts the Cumulus Media Networks’ syndicated radio program, The Mike Huckabee Show, heard on more than 175 stations.

The success demonstrated by Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day could serve as a template for supporting our men and women in uniform, as Pentagon chief Panetta engineers the transformation of the military in accordance with President Obama’s pro-gay policy.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense actually issued a directive that allowed service members to march in the “Gay Pride” Parade on July 21 in San Diego. This resulted in a “military contingent” at the event.

This, in turn, followed a “gay pride” event at the Pentagon itself.

Senator James Inhofe, who voted to confirm Panetta as Secretary of Defense, was upset, noting that DOD Directive 1344.10 and separate service department regulations make it plain that service members “shall not march or ride in a partisan political parade.” He sent a letter to Panetta asking for an explanation of the policy reversal to accommodate homosexuals.

While homosexuals are being applauded and celebrated, Inhofe says there is a pattern of hostility towards religion in the military under the Obama Administration.

Defenders of Panetta claimed the “gay pride” event was non-political. But Rep. Forbes points out that Dwayne Crenshaw, executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride, had described the parade as a “celebration here in San Diego of the advances in LGBT equality from the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to the addition of Washington and Maryland to the growing list of states with marriage equality.” He went on to say, “If justice prevails, we will be able to celebrate marriage equality in California too.”

The press release with these blatantly political statements was later removed from the parade website, but Rep. Forbes posted an archived version.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.

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