American General's remarks about gay personnel condemned

March 14, 2007

General Peter Pace
WASHINGTON, DC — The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) today strongly condemned remarks by General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling lesbian and gay personnel “immoral.”

In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Pace said: “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.”

He went on to reiterate his support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by saying that “I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”

SLDN demanded that General Pace apologize for his remarks.

“General Pace’s comments are outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces,” said C. Dixon Osburn, the group’s executive director.

“Our men and women in uniform make tremendous sacrifices for our country, and deserve General Pace’s praise, not his condemnation.

“As a Marine and a military leader, General Pace knows that prejudice should not dictate policy. It is inappropriate for the Chairman to condemn those who serve our country because of his own personal bias. He should immediately apologize for his remarks.”

General Pace likened homosexuality to adultery, which he said was also immoral, The Tribune reported on its Web site. He also announced his opposition to Congressional legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The Williams Project at the University of California – Los Angeles estimates at least 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans are currently serving on active duty and the reserves. Another one million gay Americans, the group has estimated, are veterans of the armed forces.

“Regardless of one’s opinion about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ every service member deserves respect,” said Osburn. “Secretary of Defense Gates should immediately condemn Pace’s remarks. Their apologies should be swift and sincere.” – Issued by Gay Link Content

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