Homosexuality is immoral, according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an interview with the Chicago Union Tribune. "Saying that gays should serve openly in the military to me, says that we by policy would be condoning what I believe is immoral activity,” says Gen. Peter Pace.
This of course has kicked off a shitstorm, with gay/lesbian rights groups across the country demanding that Pace apologize. "General Pace's comments are outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces," says the Service Members Legal Defense Network, a gay rights group.
Now let me state up front – I’ve got no problems with homosexuality. I’m in the military, and I’ve got zero worries with gays openly serving in the military, hell, I welcome them. Lord knows, we could use a few more good men and women willing to answer the call to arms. What I do have a problem with, is someone being castigated for their personal views.
Pace stated up front that the views expressed were his and not military policy. Since when was it a crime in this country to have a view different from yours and yours and mine? Last time I checked, differences of opinions were what made this country great and kept the our democratic debate alive, fostering change.
If we’re to run around trying to shout down those who disagree with us – early critics of the war, those who believe in global warming and a myriad other highly charged issues – we run the risk of our national policy, individual views and very freedom of speech being handcuffed by a small, but very vocal, contingency of special interest groups, both on the right and left. I think pro-lifers are generally a bunch of egotistical nimrods (how dare you assume to act as God in His judgment), but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to silence their voice on the abortion debate, and I sure as hell am not going to apologize for my view.
The mark of a good leader isn’t inherently what his or her personal beliefs are, it’s how well they implement the laws of the land by which they are governed. I think smoking pot should be legal. In fact, I think the fact that pot is illegal is criminal but fact is, it’s illegal – I don’t smoke pot.
Don’t ask, don’t tell is a policy still in effect in the military, and until such time as it’s done away with, that's it. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Pace’s views may or may not have influence on how the policy is addressed but even Pace, who holds in my opinion a very dumb view of homosexuality, will eventually be unable to reverse the tide of public opinion.