Marine Commandant General James Conway speaks out about homosexuals in the military
He doesn't explicitly raise the issue of unit cohesion and how relationships between marines could impact that. An article on this is here:
Marine Commandant General James Conway told reporters, "We have some people that are -- that are very religious, and I think in some instances -- I couldn't begin to give you a percentage -- but I think in some instances we will have people that say that homosexuality is wrong and they simply do not want to room with a person of that persuasion because it would go against their religious beliefs."
In response to why Marines appeared to have more of an issue with changing the policy than perhaps other branches of the military, he offered, "That's a tough question to answer because I'm not as familiar with the other services as I am my own Corps...we recruit a certain type of young American, a pretty macho guy or gal, that is willing to go fight and perhaps die for their country."
He added, "We are forced to live in close proximity aboard ship, in the field for long periods of time and that type of thing...and we'd just as soon not see it change."
General Conway's comments come one day after Pentagon officials mailed out 150,000 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" surveys to military spouses, seeking input about the potential dismantling of the federal law that bans openly gay, lesbian or bisexual applicants from serving.
"We're anxious to see what the survey indicates when it's made public toward the end of the year...but if the law changes, we pride our Corps in leading the services in many, many things, and we're going to have to lead in this too. We've got a war to fight, and we need to, if the law changes, implement and get on with it." . . .