For months, a handful of congressional Republicans, led in large part by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) tried everything they could think of to stop the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” They failed miserably, and the DADT policy will come to its formal end in about three weeks.

It’s possible, I suppose, that if a Republican wins the White House in 2013, DADT could be reinstated, but Hunter doesn’t want to wait that long. The far-right Californian is instead moving forward with a new legislative proposal.

A California congressman strongly opposed to allowing gays to serve openly in the military is drafting legislation to protect the rights of straight service members who object to the presence of gays.

The draft bill prepared by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who served as a Marine Corps officer before being elected to Congress, does not prevent repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by the end of September, but it would require the services to “ensure that a member of the Armed Forces under their jurisdiction is not pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of the member.”

Essentially, this would mean that military people have to accept the presence of gays in the military but they would not have to like it, said an aide familiar with the legislation.

The apparent point of this new legislation, which does not yet have a bill number or co-sponsors, is to ensure that U.S. servicemen and women are allowed to hate gay people as much as they want to.

Hunter seemingly believes that military personnel, starting in just a few weeks, will be “pressured” by their superiors to “approve” of sexual conduct they may not like. The bill, the congressman said, will allow the troops to “express their personal views.”

Raise your hand if you think Duncan Hunter needs a new hobby. I mean, really. When was the last time we saw a member of Congress this preoccupied with gays in the military?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.