WASHINGTON, March 12 LAWFUEL — Servicemembers Legal Def…

WASHINGTON, March 12 LAWFUEL — Servicemembers Legal
Defense Network (SLDN) today strongly condemned remarks by General Peter
Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling lesbian and gay
personnel “immoral.” In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Pace said
that, “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and
that we should not condone immoral acts.” He went on to reiterate his
support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by saying that “I do not believe the
United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral
in any way.” SLDN demanded that General Pace apologize for his remarks.

“General Pace’s comments are outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful
to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces,” said C. Dixon Osburn, the group’s executive director. “Our men and women in uniform make tremendous sacrifices for our country, and deserve General Pace’s praise, not his condemnation. As a Marine and a military leader, General Pace knows that prejudice should not dictate policy. It is
inappropriate for the Chairman to condemn those who serve our country
because of his own personal bias. He should immediately apologize for his

General Pace likened homosexuality to adultery, which he said was also immoral, The Tribune reported on its Web site. He also announced his
opposition to Congressional legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The Williams Project at the University of California-Los Angeles
estimates at least 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans are currently serving
on active duty and the reserves. Another 1 million gay Americans, the group has estimated, are veterans of the armed forces.

“Regardless of one’s opinion about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ every
service member deserves respect,” said Osburn. “Secretary of Defense Gates
should immediately condemn Pace’s remarks. Their apologies should be swift and sincere.”

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal
services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending
discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and related forms of intolerance. For more
information, visit http://www.sldn.org.

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