Log Cabin Republicans Denounce General Peter Pace's Remarks about Gay Service Members
Joint Chiefs Chairman Advocating Policy that is Weakening Our National Security
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans denounce comments by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace degrading gay and lesbian service members. "General Pace's remarks that homosexuality is 'immoral' is an unnecessary affront to the 65,000 brave gay and lesbian members of the armed forces fighting on the front lines in the war on terror," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "General Pace's remarks are out of touch with most Americans and the majority of men and women on the ground serving under his leadership."
"We respect General Pace's service to our nation, but he has allowed his personal views to get in the way of his duty to his country," said Sammon. "Studies have shown — and most Americans agree — that the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy is weakening our national security and undermining the war on terror. It has cost us tens of thousands of service members, many with valuable and hard-to-replace skills crucial to this war."
"Our nation recently learned that the very first American wounded in combat in Iraq happened to be gay. General Pace's comments are insulting to this brave marine and thousands of other service members who fight for our country every day," said Sammon. There have also been a growing number of Americans questioning this harmful policy — including former Joint Chiefs Chairman John Shalikashvili and Republican former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen.
General Pace's comments also fly in the face of the majority of men and women serving our country. A recent Zogby International poll found that 73% of military members are comfortable with gays and lesbians. Nearly one in four service members know for sure that someone in their unit is gay.
The Williams Project at the University of California-Los Angeles estimates at least 65,000 gay and lesbian Americans are currently serving on active duty and the reserves. Another 1 million gay Americans, the group estimates, are veterans of the armed forces. "Gays and lesbians have served honorably in every war in American history," said Sammon.
In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Pace said that "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 the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy 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."