Marine’s top officer says he draws the line on gays bunking with straight soldiers

LGBTQ Nation


The Marine Corps’ top officer said Thursday that straight soldiers will not be asked to share rooms on base with openly gay soldiers if the military‘s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is repealed.

Commandant Gen. James Conway said that even if the ban on openly-serving gays in the services is lifted, he would draw the line at forcing heterosexual Marines to bunk with gays on base.

“We want to continue [two-person rooms], but I would not ask our Marines to live with someone who is homosexual if we can possibly avoid it,” Conway told during an exclusive interview at the Pentagon.

“And to me that means we have to build BEQs [bachelor enlisted quarters] and have single rooms,” he said.

Conway’s comments came the same day that Defense Secretary Robert Gates reprimanded the Army’s Pacific commander for publicly exhorting service members and civilians to write to Congress to oppose repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon made his views known in a letter published in Stars and Stripes on March 8.

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