Alexandrias congressional delegation denounced Peter Paces comments that homosexuality is immoral this week, aiming unanimous condemnation at the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Alexandria Rep. James Moran (D) said the Chairman had no place denouncing homosexuality when thousands of gay and lesbian men and women serve in the military.
Regardless what General Pace’s personal views on homosexuality are, it is a fact that hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian soldiers have served and will continue to serve with distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces, Moran said in a statement, These brave men and women are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country, despite a government that forces them to deny their true selves.
Sen. Jim Webb (D) echoed Morans sentiments, saying that General Paces remarks were unnecessarily divisive and also inappropriate considering his position at the highest ranks of our military.
In a newspaper interview last week, Pace refused to apologize for his statements and likened homosexuality to adultery. He also reiterated his statements that the military should not allow homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces.
Pace said he should have focused his remarks on his support of the [Dont Ask, Dont Tell] policy and less on [his] personal moral views.”
Moran chastised Pace for his endorsement of Dont Ask, Dont Tell and called on Congress to repeal the law.
Dont Ask, Dont Tell is depriving us of dedicated and willing volunteers in the war on terror, Moran said, While only General Pace has the power to change his personal views, Congress can change this outdated, narrow-minded law.
Dont Ask, Dont Tell was signed into law by President Bill Clinton 1994. As the name indicates, the policy states that the military may not inquire about someones sexual orientation and servicemen should not divulge such information. According to the Williams Project at the University of California Los Angeles, at least 65,000 homosexual men and women are currently in active duty or in the reserves of the military. The project also estimates that 1 million homosexual Americans are veterans of military duty.
Senator John Warner (R), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, broke ranks with many Republicans by publicly criticizing the Pentagons highest ranking Generals remarks.
I respectfully but strongly disagree with the chairmans view that homosexuality is immoral, Warner said.