Monday, March 19, 2007
Righteous indignation greeted Joint Chiefs Chairman General Peter Pace's recent remarks that homosexuality is immoral and should not be condoned by the military. A group of seven high-ranking and highly-decorated gay military veterans demanded to know, "Does General Pace believe we are immoral, or that our service was unacceptable? Does he appreciate the sacrifice and dedication of every patriot in our armed forces, regardless of their sexual orientation?" Surely his remarks have done more to undermine the morale of the 65,000 gay and lesbian troops on active duty than any alleged morale damage that their presence could cause. It is absurd that at the same time as the military is granting a record number of waivers for admitting felons and other convicts into military service, Pace can make comments like this: "The U.S. military mission fundamentally rests on the trust, confidence and cooperation amongst its members. And the homosexual lifestyle does not comport with that kind of trust and confidence and therefore is not supported within the U.S. Military." While Pace later apologized for expressing a "personal opinion", too little has been made of the fact that to express his personal opinion in a public forum while in uniform is a violation of military code. Would it be unreasonable to formally discipline General Pace for such a technicality? So long as it is a dischargeable offense for a servicemember to wear their uniform to a gay pride parade, it would be outrageous not to discipline Pace for expressing his opinion in uniform.