Press

Task Force responds to homophobic statements of General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Date: 
March 13, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

 

WASHINGTON, March 13 — U.S. Marine Corps General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal military advisor to President George W. Bush, said yesterday to the Chicago Tribune that lesbian, gay and bisexual service members are “immoral.” Pace said, “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.” He elaborated by comparing homosexuality to adultery, declaring that “I would not want [acceptance of gay behavior] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior.”

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“It’s hard to compound the immorality of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ but General Pace has done it. His statements are not only an insult to the 65,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in the military, serving their country in wartime while being forced to conceal their sexual orientation, they are an affront to all gay Americans and our families.

“What’s immoral? The reality that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has resulted in the discharges of an estimated 10,000 service members, including 50 specialists in Arabic, according to a 2005 government audit.

“What’s immoral? The reality that Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, one of Pace’s own fighting men and thought to be the first seriously wounded soldier in the war in Iraq, could only come out to his combat buddies and friends after he retired from the Marine Corps.

“What’s immoral? The war in Iraq.

“We join the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in calling for a prompt and unconditional apology from General Pace — not his remorseless statement of ‘regret’ — and if he fails to do that, his prompt dismissal.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.