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SIECUS Condemns Irresponsible Comments from General Pace

Statement by Joseph DiNorcia, Jr., President and CEO of the
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.

New York, NYThe Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) condemns the statements made by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in which he calls homosexuality “immoral.”

American soldiers are engaged across the world in an effort to protect our lives, freedoms, and interests.  Gay and lesbian soldiers are serving and sacrificing, fighting and dying, across the globe along side their heterosexual peers.  As the senior ranking member of the Armed Forces and President Bush’s highest military advisor, it is General Pace’s duty to support all of our troops.  To do anything less than thank them wholeheartedly for their service is shameful.

General Pace’s comments reveal that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is a thin façade covering up a deep-seeded discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers.  For more than a decade, members of our armed forces have had to hide their identities for fear of jeopardizing their careers, and thousands of soldiers have been unfairly discharged.  Such outright discrimination is contrary to the same American values that our soldiers abroad are fighting to protect.  In a time when the military should be grateful for every man and woman who is willing to put their life at risk for the sake of our country, it is counterproductive and foolish to turn away or discharge able-bodied patriots because of their sexual orientation.   

Today, SIECUS once again calls on Congress to lift this poorly thought-out and discriminatory policy and to allow gays and lesbians to serve their country openly and proudly.