"I believe homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts." -- General Peter Pace
According to news reports, the general said his views stemmed from his personal "upbringing," where he was taught that some types of behavior are immoral. Like every other American, General Pace is entitled to believe anything he wants -- but as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he is not entitled to create public policy based on those beliefs.
And he is most certainly not entitled to put our military at greater risk because of them.
Here's news for General Pace: I've got views from my personal upbringing that taught me some types of behavior are immoral, too. And at the top of that list today is the immoral act of continuing to put our brave young men and women on the front at risk because of the shortsighted leadership of narrow, homophobic ideologues like General Pace. Continuing to send our children into harm's way under-staffed, under-equipped and over-extended while discharging loyal, qualified, patriotic service men and women who happen to be gay and lesbian illustrates an extraordinary failure in leadership at a time when this nation can ill-afford any more failed leadership.
Bravo to Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign for hitting the nail on the head: "Our military needs the best qualified men and women who are willing to serve in the military, protect our freedoms and preserve our American values of equality." My son, Jim, is one of those best qualified men who volunteered to serve his country and is currently serving with distinction as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief in Iraq.
His life is on the line daily because he understands himself to be defending a way of life that includes liberty and justice for all as a core value - those are among the values his "upbringing" taught him to revere. And those are the values he is willing to fight for: for us. All of us. My son's sacrifice deserves better leadership than what he's getting from General Pace. So do the sacrifices of the gay and lesbian comrades who put their lives on the line along with his. And so does this great nation of ours.