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Top U.S. Marine: Openly gay service members not an issue

MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Washington Blade
Saturday, September 1, 2012

WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. Marine Corps this week stressed that the integration of openly gay and lesbians into the military has gone smoothly.

“I don’t think there is a problem,” said Commandant Gen. James Amos during a National Press Club luncheon in downtown Washington on Tuesday. “I don’t see it. I don’t hear about it.”

Jonathan Ellis, Washington Blade

James Amos

Amos’ comments come nearly a year after the repeal of the Pentagon’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers officially took effect. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his 2010 confirmation hearing that he opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” LGBT rights groups later blasted Amos for suggesting that openly gay and lesbian service members would prove a distraction that would lead to further loses on the battlefield. He stressed, however, that the Marines would implement the policy if ordered to do so.

“We obey orders,” said Amos. “We do that better than anybody does and we have.”

He again noted that he doesn’t “even get a question” about openly gay and lesbian servicemembers from subordinates and other Marines.

“I don’t hear anything,” said Amos. “I’m not seeing anything at all, so I’m very pleased with how it’s turned out. I’m very proud of the Marines.”

Zeke Stokes of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network welcomed Amos’ comments.

“It was gratifying to hear General Amos once again affirm his view that the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has proceeded smoothly,” he told the Blade. “His comments certainly reflect what is happening across the services. Now it’s time for us to take the next step and ensure that all service members and their families are treated equally.”

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. And there you have it, folks. Integration is not a problem. Next on the news: “Stunning discovery by scientists: Water is wet”.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 1:04pm
  2. We’ve been there far longer than many heterosexuals wanted to admit.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 1:05pm
  3. Semper fi.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 1:24pm
  4. I have a great deal of respect for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was doubtful in 2010 that this was a good move. However, he is now able to stand up and tell everyone that things are going well.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 1:48pm
  5. Everyone should feel this way.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 2:09pm
  6. Semper Fi. God loves the Corps.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 3:24pm
  7. No duh!

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 5:21pm
  8. And they were sooooo worried.. Geez

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 8:04pm
  9. Why was it implemented in the first place?

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 9:03pm
  10. I am so glad to hear this news. It’s just as I thought. Thank you. =)

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 9:59pm
  11. they were afraid the gay men were weak and would give away military secrets, and be so involved with other men that they wouldnt be able to concentrate on the tasks at hand. there is more gays in the military than you have any idea.

    Posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 11:08pm