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Speak Out On General Pace’s Disgraceful Words!

This post, by Sex in the Public Square contributor Tom Joaquin, was originally published on his blog, The Free Lance.

General Peter Pace, the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced on Monday his personal opinion that simply being a gay or lesbian person is immoral, and that the military should therefore continue to refuse gays and lesbians the opportunity to serve in the military. Well, to be more precise, he supports the official military policy, that gays and lesbians can sign up, as long as they’re willing to crawl into the military closet and deny who they are.

The current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is immoral because it openly requires dishonesty, and treats gays and lesbians as second class citizens. It is unconstitutional because it punishes by exclusion gays and lesbians, not because of what they’ve done, but because of who they are; this type of “status crime” was years ago determined unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

General Pace’s delicate moral niceties are archaic. Barry Goldwater, the bastion of all that’s conservative, and 37 year veteran of the military, announced years ago his support of the right of gays and lesbians to be in the military:

The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that’s what brings me into it…. why the hell shouldn’t they serve? They’re American citizens. As long as they’re not doing things that are harmful to anyone else.

Vice-President Dick Cheney, while Secretary of Defense under the first President Bush, called security concerns about gays and lesbians an “old chestnut” and referred to the idea that “a gay lifestyle is incompatible with military service” as “a policy I inherited.” These comments were made by Cheney just after his assistant secretary of defense, Pete Williams was outed as a gay man.

The world has moved on ahead of the US. There are at least 26 nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve, including Israel, Australia, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Columbia, and every country in the European Union, which requires all members to abolish any bans on open service.

Pace’s comparison with adultery is specious. According to files received by Salon pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request the military, under General Pace, is currently providing waivers for at least 17% of incoming recruits, accepting recruits with civilian criminal records including domestic abuse, assault, breaking and entering and auto theft. An outstanding article by Helen Benedict, also published in Salon, documents the pervasive threat of rape and sexual harassment women soldiers in Iraq live with daily. Perhaps General Pace should focus his moral concerns on matters of real substance existing within the scope of his responsibility.

The Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has let the world know what he thinks Department of Defense policy should be, based upon his morals. He has also provided encouragement and cover for the continued harassment and abuse of men and women by their fellows and those in their chain of command. Sounds pretty damn immoral to me.

Please note: I am personally against the action in Iraq and support plans to withdraw troops now. I am not advocating for the war in Iraq, but for the right to openly serve in the military without regard to sexual orientation. Tom

IMPORTANT: If you agree with me, write your representatives in Congress and the Senate as well as General Pace, and write your local papers. Register your disapproval with General Pace’s remarks and your support for changing military policy to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. General Pace can be reached at:

Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman
9999 Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon
Room 4E873
Washington, DC 20318
Fax: (703) 697-8758

All or any part of this post can be used, with attribution, for any non-commercial purpose to help spread the word.

Filed under: Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Censorship, Education, Equality, Friends, Fundies, Politics, Rants, Religion, Sex

8 Responses

  1. WhoreChurch says:

    Janie,

    I think one of the best things to happen in a long time was for General Pace to make these statements.

    The reason behind the “DADT” policy has always been fundamentalist morality, but no one of his stature was willing to say it on the record. While he claims this is “just his personal belief,” how many of the leaders in our country as well as the military have the same set of beliefs?

    Pace’s comments may now allow us to ask of these people the fundamental question: Is this policy based on real military necessity or is it based on the moral indignation of homophobic leaders?

  2. It’s cheesy, I know, but I’ve got to do it.

    “…simply being a gay or lesbian person is immoral…”

    Immoral like a fox!

  3. Old Knudsen says:

    America is so last century, nothing wrong with the gheys in the military go ask the Persians at Thermopylae who the best fighters were.

  4. JanieBelle says:

    Heh heh, Kevin. I think you’re right, and I am reminded of the Reverend Dr. Lenny Flank when he points out that nutters, no matter how many times ya’ tell ’em, no matter how critical it is to their cause, just can’t keep their mouths shut.

    Let them talk and they’ll hang themselves with their own words every single time.

    Rev. Hull,

    🙂 Cheesy, but funny!

    Old Knudsen,

    You crack me up, but “America is so last century” is probably much more accurate than I wish it were.

    Kisses

  5. WhoreChurch says:

    This comment is already doing some good–Hillary was asked yesterday whether she thought homosexuality is immoral. She declined to answer.

    So is it possible this will result in demos having to actually take a public stand on the morality of homosexual practice? It would be interesting to see if they do.

  6. JanieBelle says:

    I’m glad it’s stirring conversation, but I am once again chagrined at Senator Clinton’s hemming and hawing.

    If she is to get my vote (I’d love to vote for her), she needs to come out and put it on the damned line.

    I understand the political expediency of not answering the question, but I want a candidate that is willing to stand up and say “This is what I believe: what people do in their bedrooms is no concern of the government.”

    It’s the 21st century. When are we going to get a viable presidential candidate who is willing to stand for basic human decency?

  7. WhoreChurch says:

    The Award for the Most Ironic Defense of Homosexual Behavior Ever:

    When are we going to get a viable presidential candidate who is willing to stand for basic human decency?

  8. JanieBelle says:

    HAHAHAHA! Y’know it never even dawned on me…

    😆

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