Dear Marine Leaders …

who can’t quite cope with the idea of your boys sharing rooms with gay Marines:

I thought you were grown-ups. I thought you were tough. I find it hard to believe that you are foolish enough to encourage your Marines down a path that opens them up to blackmail, and that encourages an atmosphere of distrust and secrecy among what should be team members … you know, distractions from the job at hand.

So here’s the thing. You know your Marines are already serving with – and bunking with – other Marines that happen to be gay. You know that, and I think you know it would be pretty appalling to act as if gays are unfit to serve. General Pace tried something like that, and he didn’t get too warm a reception, did he?

Don’t give me a line about “introducing sexuality” – you already allow women to be Marines, and you’re already awarding some of them Combat Action Ribbons. More to the point, your Marines know all this, too, and the majority of them are fine with rooming with their gay comrades. In fact, Tammy Schultz, an Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the US Marine Corps War College, has noted that there’s more support for serving side by side with gays than there was for desegregation.

So what will it take to toughen you up, grow you up, or get you to just show a little leadership?

A sampling of recent news:
General Pace backtracks on “immoral” remarks [WaPo, 2007]
WaPo on Pentagon survey about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
NPR report with Marine leaders claiming “vast majority” favor DADT
NPR Interview with Tammy Schultz

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