Joint Chiefs Chairman Cites His Personal ‘Upbringing’ to Support Discrimination Against Gays in Military


Contact: Josh Glasstetter or Mary Moreno at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

PFAW: ‘Policy Should Not be Grounded in Prejudice’

Marine Corps General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Monday that he opposes policy changes that would allow gay people to serve openly in the armed services because he believes the military should not condone behavior he considers “immoral.”

Read this Washington Post op-ed by “lifelong Republican” and veteran Alan K. Simpson, the former Wyoming senator who argues that we should “review—and overturn—the ban on gay service in the military.”

People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said General Pace’s comments do not reflect the views of the American public or people in uniform.

“Most Americans believe policy should not be grounded in prejudice,” said Neas. “General Pace’s personal ‘upbringing’ is no justification for a policy that discriminates against people willing to serve their country.”

The Chicago Tribune reported Pace saying, “I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”

Said Neas, “In fact, the United States is poorly served by a policy that is forcing thousands of qualified, committed servicemembers out of the armed forces at a time when our military resources are stretched thin. Our nation is poorly served by policies that undermine our ideals—and the constitutional principle of equal treatment under the law.”

Neas noted that retired Army General John Shalikashvili, who also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently wrote that “we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.” Shalikashvili believes the change is “inevitable” and will not harm the armed forces.