"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."