Tony Perkins' invitation to speak at Andrews Air Force Base was revoked over controversial remarks he made concerning the repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” the 1993 law that forbids gay troops from serving openly, POLITICO reported.
Perkins, the president of the Christian-based Family Research Council, is opposed to the president's plan to repeal the law. His group also played a prominent role in repealing a gay marriage law in Maine last year.
Perkins told the Christian News Service
(CNS) that he was dis-invited to a prayer luncheon this past Thursday on the Maryland base after he wrote an op-ed critical of President Obama's call to end the policy in his first State of the Union address.
“At a time of enormous economic challenge, two on-going wars in which Americans are fighting and increased terrorist threats to Americans at home, President Obama seems untethered from that reality as he called on Congress to force the military to allow open homosexuality,” Perkins said in a statement published on his group's website January 27. “As a veteran of the Marine Corps, the timing of the President's call in the midst of two wars shows that he is willing to jeopardize our nation's security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.”
“The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected,” he added.
Two days after posting his remarks, Perkins received a letter canceling the invitation.
“As a former Marine officer, I'm sure you understand the situation in which we find ourselves,” Air Force Chaplain Lt. Col. Gary Bertsch wrote. “As military members we are sworn to support our Commander in Chief, and are forbidden to make or support statements that run counter to our roles as members of the armed forces.”
In a statement released to CNS, the Andrews base public affairs office confirmed that Perkins was dis-invited due to his “public comments.”
Perkins called the incident an example of religious freedoms being trumped by political correctness.
“This is not about the chaplain,” Perkins told CNS, “it's not even about Andrews Air Force Base, it's about the chilling effect that this policy would have upon Christians who operate from an understanding of what's right and right according to Scripture.”