September 21st, 2010
12:57 PM ET
12 years ago

Marine general opposes repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

Washington (CNN) - Gen. James Amos, who is poised to become the new Marine Corps commandant, opposes repealing the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay and lesbian soldiers from the military.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, which held a hearing Tuesday on the nomination of Amos to become commandant, released 37 pages of policy questions the general answered in advance.

"In my personal view the current law and associated policy have supported the unique requirements of the Marine Corps and thus I do not recommend its
repeal," Amos wrote.

"My primary concern with proposed repeal is the potential disruption to cohesion that may be caused by significant change during a period of expended combat operations," Amos said in his answer to the committee's advance questions.

A Defense Department review of the policy that is under way "should tell us a lot whether such a change will be disruptive to unit cohesion ... (and) provide insights into how, if Congress approves of a change in law and the president signs it, the (Defense Department) should develop policy for its implementation."

At the hearing, Amos told the committee that he believes responses from Marines on repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have been mostly negative so far.

Amos said he had heard that at Marine bases and in Marines' responses to an online survey, the feeling "is predominantly negative." He added: "But I don't know that as a fact."

However, Amos made clear that he and the Marine Corps would accept the new policy if and when the law gets changed and the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs chairman certify that it would not impede military effectiveness and readiness.

"The Marine Corps is probably one of the most faithful services you have in our country," Amos said. "And if the law is changed by Congress and signed by the president of the United States, the Marine Corps will get in step and do it smartly."

Filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell • James Amos
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Snow

    The General along with the majority of Americans do not support these people in the military.

    September 21, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    I know a lot of marines and ex-marines who are gay. What is this general's problem? Freedom for all that says " except . . . . . . . "

    ALL is all.

    September 21, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    To quote Barry Goldwater, "Mr. Conservative" himself:

    "Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar."

    "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."

    Sounds good enough for me!

    September 21, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Why should we listen to this guy? Our military hasn't won a war in 60 years and even then, the Brits and Russians did most of the heavy lifting. What the heck are we paying them for anyway? Have a nice day!

    September 21, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Hunter of the lib hunter

    I oppose General Amos, and in the final analysis, that is not the general's job to make the determination.

    September 21, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Listen

    Why don't the officials listen to someone who actually knows what's going on, instead of some freaked out singer who has not a clue.

    September 21, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Hate groups should not be allowed in the military. That is much much worse. They should follow rules set forth for our military or get out. Discrimination based on sex, politics, ethnic background, religion are FORBIDDEN - all citizens military and civilian should follow THoSE rules.

    September 21, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Sounds like he was trained in IRAN.

    September 21, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. how about a return to sanity

    If gays weren't in the services already doing an extremely good job I would understand the fear from the General but...

    It's time to scrap this crazy law and allow those gay service men and women to continue performing their duties. If you don't want to see same sex kissing in the trenches then make a rule (if there isn't one already) to ban hookups in the ranks.

    September 21, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Vic of New York

    What's needed is to test the good General to see if he suffers from Homophobia. If so the General should be excused from military service. Homophobia will inevitably prevent the General from making impartial command decisions and affects his ability to discipline troops.

    September 21, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. Whatever

    Maybe he should NOT become the new Marine Corps commandant!!!!! Need open minded people. My goodness do they know how many people are gay in the military and just faking it?!?!?!?!

    September 21, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Liz the First

    So Gen. Amos opposes everything America stands for, all that freedom and all men are created equal nonsense? what exactly are we fighting for if not our freedom? bigotry is indefensible and if he and some of his troops have a problem, it's their problem and needs to be dealt with as their problem.

    September 21, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Marcus

    "In my personal view the current law and associated policy have supported the unique requirements of the Marine Corps and thus I do not recommend its repeal," Amos wrote.

    Funny, homophobia is not listed as one of the requirements for being a Marine...

    September 21, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. George

    Great. The Republican white guys are back and so are the military butt kissers, so there goes any chance of fairness or REAL democracy.

    September 21, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Ferret out the BS

    Acceptance of Gay / Lesbians should probably come from the civilian sector before the military is expected to change its policy. While the military is a frontrunner and leader in many things, the military is also a microcosm of the society in general. Military members will typically bring their beliefs with them when they enter the service.

    September 21, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Gjames37

    Color me surprised that responses have been negative. The majority of the country is homophobic. That homophobia (at least expressions of it) may be even further amplified in the ostensibly hyper-masculine Marine Corps. It is precisely this type of sentiment that anti-discrimination laws and regulations are meant to combat. Gays and lesbians are already in the military and always have been and should not have to hide for fear of ouster despite the merits of their service. DADT is ridiculous, discriminatory and unconstitutional.

    September 21, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Bill

    As a former Marine I am in agreement with General Amos, but I fear the obama administration lackeys on the Senate Armed Services Commette will not confirm him. Not when you have people like Barney Frank pushing the agenda.

    September 21, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Too bad that this Marine opposes repeal of "don't ask, don't tell"........ lying is about one's personal truth is toxic. This is the 21st century, let's grow up , people! We all know that there are Gays, why hide it? There have been and will be Gays in the military. Avoiding the truth wont change this fact.

    September 21, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. richard in montana

    It is time to repeal him. When a soldier lays down his/her life for our country, who will care if he or she is gay?

    September 21, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. atypical

    Very strange that, collectively, we have more tolerance for going to war and killing and such than we do for allowing folks to love whom they want.

    Isn't that a peculiar state of affairs?

    I am one that holds out hope that there is other intelligent life out there because as far as our species goes, we have a lot of archaic notions we have yet to grow out of.

    September 21, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Dave

    So, Amos says that his concern is that integrating openly gay people will have a negative impact on unit cohesion. Then he says repealing DADT "would not impede military effectiveness and readiness."

    Which is it?

    This is the same old argument that was used to keep African-Americans from integrating in the military. It's nothing more than legalized bigotry and idiocy and it's time to put an end to it.

    September 21, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Me

    First of all, you already have gay people serving in your Corp.
    Second of all, it really isn't Don't ask Don't tell, IF YOU ASK!
    Finally, this is just another form of racism that must be done away with.

    Liberty and Justice for All

    September 21, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. AndyBlue

    The strongest Military in the world is the weakest mentally.

    22 other countries that make up coalition forces allow gays and lesbians to serve their country with pride.

    We are the laughing stock of the world. How embarrassing and disgraceful.

    September 21, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. T'SAH from Virginia

    "In my personal view the ..." Enough said!!

    The MEN who have a problem with working next to someone that is GAY need to check their own closets for some skeletons and bring them OUT!!! Lesbians seem to NOT have a problem with other Lesbians??!!! What's up with the MEN??

    For decades Gays were in the Service and most likely SAVED a lot of MEN!!! I guess MEN are afraid of NOT getting SAVED if they OPENLY know a Gay man is saving them!!! You know "Get your hands off of me – don't touch me – go away I rather be BLOWN UP then saved by you..... ROTFLMAO – Yes it's funny and SAD!!!

    T'SAH from Virginia – the Original Liberal – approves this message!!

    September 21, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. All the news that is fit to omit

    As someone else who PROUDLY voluteered and served two hiches, I agree with him.

    IT changes the whole parameter IF there is the knowledge of ones sexuality, sorry it does CHANGE EVERYTHING.

    To the people that never had the GUTS to wear a uniform besides your current McDonalds one, YOU HAVE NO SAY IN THIS MATTER, NONE as you have no idea how the military works, NONE.

    Lady GagMe, if you feel so enraged "honey", why not join and help change it?

    September 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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