U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, after having scored a significant win at the Ames Straw Poll over the weekend, said Sunday that if she became Commander in Chief she would most likely reinstate the military’s ban on openly gay service personnel, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).
Bachmann made these comments while being interviewed for CNN’s State of the Union.
President Barack Obama has certified that the U.S. military is ready to accept gay soldiers, and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is due to be formally repealed on September 20 after 18 years in force.
But Bachmann, a favorite of the ultraconservative Tea Party movement, said she would revisit the policy if she reaches the White House.
“The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has worked very well,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I would be in consultation with our commanders, but yes, I probably will” reinstate the ban, she added.
Bachmann continued to dodge specific questions about gay rights and LGBTs over the weekend, saying in an interview with MSNBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning that she “doesn’t judge” gay people despite being called out by host David Gregory on comments she made to the EdWatch National Education Conference in 2004 where she said the “gay and lesbian lifestyle” leads to a “very sad life” that is “part of Satan” with “sexual dysfunction and sexual identity disorders.”
The host asked, “That is the view President Bachmann would have of gay Americans?”
Bachmann responded, “I am running for the presidency of the United States. I am not running to be anyone’s judge.”
Told that her comments certainly sounded judgmental, Bachmann did not renounce her previous claims, but she said, “I ascribe honor and dignity to ever person no matter what their background. They [gays and lesbians] have honor and they have dignity.”
Asked whether she would appoint an openly gay person to her administration, her cabinet or to a judicial post, Bachmann said her criteria would be “where you stand on the Constitution, are you competent, and do you share my views.” Pressed on whether those “views” would allow for gay appointments, she declined to elaborate before saying, “I am not out asking any other questions.”
Asked whether she believed a gay couple that adopts children could be considered a family, Bachmann said, “When it comes to marriage and family, my opinion is that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Michele Bachmann’s husband’s ties to ex-gay therapy have of course been very much a feature in Bachmann’s GOP presidential nomination campaign thus far, but whether they will ultimately hinder her chances at securing the GOP ticket remain to be seen.
LGBTs will no doubt be wondering if Bachmann as POTUS would “probably” bring back DADT, what might she also be inclined to do where LGBT rights issues are concerned?