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Senate Republicans Suggest All-Gay Battalion
WASHINGTON (CAP) - With Republicans in the Senate last week shooting down the appropriations bill that would have repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is proposing a compromise he's hoping both parties can get behind: an all-gay battalion.
"Everybody knows that having homosexuals serving alongside regular straight Christian soldiers gives those normal soldiers the heebie-jeebies," said Chambliss. "And soldiers with heebie-jeebies is bad for national security, probably."
Chambliss - who found himself under fire last week when an anti-gay slur posted on a gay issues blog was traced to his office - says a gay battalion would be "a fine compromise in terms of allowing homosexual Americans who want to serve in the military for some reason a way to do that, without the rest of the soldiers having to worry about being snorkeled."
When asked what he meant by "snorkeled," Chambliss said he was referring to the activity former Democratic Congressman Eric Massa was accused of performing on his Navy subordinates, "in a way that defiles the fine tradition of recreational underwater viewing."
"I haven't been able to look at the loggerhead turtles off the coast of Jekyll Island the same way since," Chambliss said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, immediately got behind the gay battalion suggestion. "I wish they had one of those when I was in the service," said McConnell. "Um, not because I would have wanted to serve in it. Because I'm not a homosexual.
"No matter what you may read on the Internet," he added.
Outside the Senate, the suggestion has been met with mixed reviews. Pop singer Lady Gaga, who has campaigned for months to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said that gay servicemen and women needed to be allowed to be "out and proud" in any division of the armed services, "like those soldiers in Afghanistan who remade my Telephone video," she said.
"Geez, we are not gay!" said Sgt. Aaron Filcher, who directed the video, which went viral last spring. "Can't a bunch of soldiers living in tight quarters film themselves dancing in unison while dressed as Lady Gaga and Beyonce without being assumed to be gay?"
He added that he thought having a gay battalion would be "simply fabulous."
Meanwhile, some Evangelical Christians - many of whom started embracing gay sex in the wake of the 2006 revelation that Rev. Ted Haggard of Colorado had carried on a three-year affair with a male prostitute - say they'd support a gay battalion, or even an entire gay brigade.
"Ever since I found out that gay sex is okay for pastors, the thought of soldiers of the same sex having relations with each other hasn't really bothered me anymore," said Skip Hardington of South Carolina, a former reverend and now proprietor of Skip's Leather Emporium & Bar in Charleston.
Sen. Chambliss is hoping putting gay battalions in place will end the controversy about gays in the military once and for all. "A gay battalion would allow homosexual soldiers into the armed services without putting off the other soldiers, or stirring in them strange, new feelings and emotions they may not be prepared to deal with," said Sen. Chambliss. "Not that I would know anything about that.
"Then the gays can serve their country," added Chambliss, "whether it be by fighting, cooking or maybe dancing."
"Geez, we are not gay!" responded Sgt. Filcher.
Meanwhile, at a Senate hearing on the issue, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) held Chambliss down while Lady Gaga beat him with the beef shank she was wearing as a hat.
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