The Bush Administration: Hating anyone different since 2001.
The AP is reporting today that the administration, without public notification, rewrote Clinton-era rules to potentially make it more difficult for gays and lesbians to obtain security clearances.
The Bush administration said security clearances cannot be denied “solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual.” But it removed language saying sexual orientation “may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person’s eligibility for a security clearance.”
While the White House tries to minimize the bigotry inherent in the rule changes by claiming it is merely a clarification of current rules, civil rights groups seem unanimous in their disapproval of the new guidlines. Said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, “It is not surprising to me that this administration is continuing to roll the clock back on the most basic of protections granted by the last administration.”
While the old rules did allow sexual activity to be considered when doing background checks for security clearances, the criteria were limited to activities that consisted of a criminal offense, suggested an emotional disorder, could subject someone to coercion or showed a lack of judgment. Now the rules are written in such a way that private and consensual activities could “mitigate security concerns.” No word yet on whether these rules apply to everyone.
Hat Tip: AmericaBlog.