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Former Porn Star Matt Sanchez Speaks Out Against ’Don’t Ask’ Repeal

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Jan 28, 2009
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A Fox News correspondent with an earlier career in gay porn films says in a blog that President Obama is seeking a repeal on the military ban on openly gay troops as a backdoor means of legitimizing same-sex marriage.

In a Jan. 28 blog at The Fox Forum correspondent Matt Sanchez mattsanchez.typepad.com/ declared, "forcing the military to legitimize same-sex relationships will be a Trojan Horse for imposing gay marriage nationwide and all in the name of ’change.’"

Sanchez, a Marine Reservist who has reported as an embed from Iraq and Afghanistan, and who currently writes for right-wing Web site WorldNetDaily, also offered a novel view of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)," the military ban on service by openly gay troops.

Wrote Sanchez, "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was designed to protect those who serve and participate in the LGBT lifestyle against unfair prosecution from their superiors."

"Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" was the end result of then-President Clinton attempting, in 1993, to integrate the military fully, in order that gays and lesbians might serve openly.

When troops and senior officers alike rebelled, and claims that openly gay troops would disrupt military discipline and morale were made, Clinton backed off the attempt, and lawmakers forged a compromise measure, which commonly became known by a slightly longer moniker: "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue."

Wrote Sanchez, "The compromise was this: You keep your private life private and we won’t bother you."

However, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), an advocacy organization for GLBT troops, estimates that since 1993, over 12,000 troops have been discharged under DADT.

A number of those who have been discharged possess potentially mission-critical skills related to intelligence and translation, which advocates for gay troops say are indispensable given the ongoing war against terrorism.

In recent years, the service of gay military personnel such as former Marine and playwright Jeff Key and Eric Alva, the retired Marine Staff Sergeant who was the first American to be injured in Iraq, has come to national attention.

Alva lost a leg; Key documented his decision to sign up despite being in his mid-30s at the time, and despite being gay, in his autobiographical play "The Eyes of Babylon."

Sanchez claimed that military service members don’t care about the sexuality of their brothers and sisters in arms anyway, writing, "’There are just Marines,’ is what drill instructors tell their young recruits in order to leapfrog the cultural, social, regional, economic and ethnic differences between the thousands of young strangers who are forged into the U.S. Marine Corps.

"Most Marines will agree, there are no ’black’ Marines, ’white’ Marines, ’Asian’ Marines, ’Latin’ Marines or ’gay’ Marines--there are just Marines."

Continued the blog, "This is counter-intuitive in our current culture of celebrity, hyphenated Americans, color coded Americans and the endless examples of self-promotion that parade through the media every day."

Moreover, Sanchez claimed, civilians don’t care either: "Americans are a fair people who understand that some men and women in uniform may have same-sex relationships or self-identify as gay and lesbian," he wrote.

"Most Americans do not condone discrimination, but they understand national defense is paramount."

Added Sanchez, "Not everyone agrees."

Sanchez noted that SLDN has taken a leading role in trying to overturn DADT, and acknowledged that proponents of lifting the ban are accurate in pointing out that other nations have integrated their militaries with no effect on morale or readiness.

"But," Sanchez goes on, "in Afghanistan, neither France, Spain, Italy or Germany will confront the Taliban.

"For many nations, the military has become more of a social symbol rather than a true fighting force."

Added Sanchez, "This is not the politically correct example for the American military to follow."

The focus of Sanchez’s article returned to the issue of marriage equality, with Sanchez writing, "The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) would force the United States military to accept the future same-sex marriages of those serving.

"Activists would use this federal recognition of gay marriage in the military to challenge and force a repeal of state constitutional amendments, but wedding bells are not the only reason why gay advocates and military officials should not be heading to the altar."

Added Sanchez, "A 2008 Military Times poll of members of the armed forces found that the troops were opposed to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by a margin of 2 to 1."

Warning of romantic entanglements among gay troops, Sanchez wrote, "’Office romances’ take on a drastically different meaning when the tools of the trade include heavy equipment, explosive devices and semi-automatic weapons."

Continued the blog, "If infantrymen in an all-male combat unit hooked up, would that cause a problem with crucial unit cohesion? Will gay service members have to be separated from their non-gay service members?

"Will separate showers and living quarters be required? Or will there be all-gay military units?

"Will gays who don’t wish to self-identify be forced to do so?"

Sanchez had made several of the same points in another item he wrote for WorldNetDaily last August.

In that item, Sanchez, himself a former Marine, noted, "While I was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, there were only three females in barracks for a platoon that numbered over 70 Marines.

"For separation, female Marines were required to have an entire wing of the barracks to their own.

"Male Marines were not allowed to enter the female side without another Marine as witness. The few females were strictly forbidden from entering the crowded male side of the barracks."

Despite that culture of keeping the genders separate, Sanchez added that during his stint as an embed, "From Bagram, Afghanistan, I reported the 70 and counting pregnancies among the small population of military women.

"The hook-up culture wasn’t going to change just because there was a war going on."

Sanchez is somewhat controversial as a right-wing commentator due to his earlier career as a star in pornographic films aimed at a gay audience.

In the 1990s he made several adult films under the names Pierre LaBranche and Rod Majors, said an article on Sanchez at Wikipedia.

Under the latter stage name, he starred in the film "Jawbreaker," a 1994 project from Catalina Video.

Despite his earlier career, Sanchez shot to fame in conservative circles in 2005 when, as a student at Columbia University, he claimed that he was harassed by anti-war activists.

Sanchez then authored an op-ed item titled, "Diversity Double-Talk: Ivy’s ’Inclusion’ excludes Military," which ran in the New York Post and led to appearances on right-wing talk programs.

From there, Sanchez launched a career as an embedded journalist with Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2007, Marine officials reportedly looked into whether Sanchez, still a Marine Reservist, had broken regulations by appearing in pornographic films.

Sanchez added, "With two wars and danger clearly present, Americans and the Obama administration will have to ask if the mission of protecting the country should take a back seat to the agenda of promoting social change."

With a Democrat who perceived to be fair-minded toward gay and lesbian Americans now in the White House, social and religious conservatives are ramping up anti-gay rhetoric, with DADT a natural starting place given America’s ongoing military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Right-wing religious site Christian News Wire posted a Jan. 27 press release by an author whose book "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party" claims that gays steered the German National Socialist movement.

The co-author of "The Pink Swastika," Dr. Scott Lively, was quoted in the press release as predicting dire consequences for American might should the military be fully integrated.

"Certainly there would be a mass exodus of normal men from a homosexualized military... probably leading to the reinstatement of compulsory service."

The press release added that the less evident effects of repealing DADT would include gays "taking over" the armed forces.

The release described "The Pink Swastika" as proving that "the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history."

Said Lively,"Most people don’t realize that male homosexuality does not always lean to the effeminate."

Lively went on, "Historically, male homosexuality was much more often associated with hyper-masculine warrior cults which were usually very brutal and very politically aggressive."

Lively then turned to the focus of his book, "The Pink Swastika," saying, "The most recent example was in Germany. Hitler’s initial power base when he launched the Nazi Party was a private homosexual military force organized and trained by a notorious pederast named Gerhard Rossbach.

"Rossbach’s homosexual partner Ernst Roehm, who was also Hitler’s partner in forming and building the Nazi Party, converted the ’gay’ Rossbachbund into the dreaded SA Brownshirts."

The press release continued, "Masculine-oriented male homosexuality tends also to be pederastic in nature... meaning that it often involves relationships between adult men and teenage boys.

"The ancient Spartan army, for example, drafted young teens boys and paired them with adult homosexual soldiers."

Similarly, Lively went on to claim, "Brownshirt leaders in Germany recruited boys from the local high schools for sex.

"Roehm himself once briefly fled Germany for South America over a scandal involving a young male prostitute."

Added Lively, "This bodes ill for the young men who will be our future draftees."

Because of the purportedly imminent threat of the draft being imposed and young men in uniform being forced into the role of catamites, "Every effort should be taken to prevent this policy change," Lively concluded.

There is some agreement that at least some top Nazi officials were gay, including Röhm; however, Röhm and his men were disposed of in a series of assassinations ordered by Hitler and carried out on the so-called "Night of the Long Knives," actually a period of time lasting about a month.

The Nazis rewrote the existing anti-gay law, Paragraph 175 of the German penal code, redefining the offense as a felony subject to harsher punishments than previously had been the case.

The Nazis also went on to imprison an estimated 50,000--100,000 homosexual men in concentration camps, forcing them to wear pink triangles.

Many of those prisoners were handed over to local authorities by the Allies after the camps were liberated.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2009-01-28 17:38:50

    Who the fuck cares about this guy? He’s a fucking joke.


  • Anonymous, 2009-07-25 16:01:56

    Not a bad article, but you discredit yourself when you align me with "The Pink Swastika," Dr. Scott Lively. It’s as if you can’t actually deal with my line of logic, so you bring in someone who has nothing to do with me in order to discredit me through association. If you’re going to take a stand, you should just do so in a more direct and honest way.


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