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. GI Joe

    There was even one high-rank marine that was bi-sexual, and married to a really beautiful, sweet woman, and he often partied with some of the gays.

    Of course there were never any questions – he was married.

    September 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. matt

    "But I don't know that as a fact."

    I expect more from a USMC general than the spreading of "gossip."

    September 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. BB

    Amos is only 1 man who is a homophob and NO ONE cares what he thinks!!!!!!!!!!!
    Soldiers fight for our right and freedoms.
    Gay people live under the same laws and rules,
    they also have the same rights and freedoms.
    Leave them alome and get into the 21st Century for God's Sakes!!!!!

    September 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Padraig

    Well, I doubt General Amos will become the new Commandant. Honesty, is not what this administration wants.

    September 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Tough, General. That is unconstitutional, and denial of basic human rights, which simply cannot continue.

    September 21, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. WilliamShogun

    Gen. James Amos is obviously a coward who has so little confidence in the men and women under his command to be able to withstand the evil power of "The Gay Bomb" that perhaps he should just quit and go back home to 1940. That way he won't have to worry about gays, can always get a good seat at the front of the bus, know that his water fountain is only being touched by his "equals" and will be allowed to slap his wife around without repercussions if he so desires.

    Most of the marines I know are brave men and women who can handle most anything. How such a lack of courage as Gen. James Amos and his fragile resistance to his own fears has made it remains a mystery.

    September 21, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Bob of Lompoc

    This is "News"? "Well, there you go again", publishing the obvious. What did you expect a U. S. Marine Corp General to say?

    September 21, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Sonnie

    If you are openly gay please stay out of the military. You become a
    problem and the miltary don't need the hassal.

    September 21, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Monster Zero

    Really, not my beloved Corps... If DADT is shot down Hoorah will turn into Hoo-weeeeeeee! I can just imagine the ramifications of open gays serving together in a war zone, broke back fox hole.

    September 21, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Shucks

    Then is in conflict with this nations Bill or Rights, and the United States Constitution. I would bet the military is is a conservative christian who would like all laws and rights ruled by religious idealogy. Negative comments from marines. This from a country that "unkowingly" had psalm references on their assault rifles. Give it a break. This is totally and unabashadly discrimination in it's clearest form. Those that don't like it "GET OUT"!!!!!!

    September 21, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Ron in Califonia

    General Amos unfortunately most Dems think Lady GAGA knows more than you do. Being a Vet myself, I can tell you that while I don't have an issue with homosexuality, I would not want to share close living quarters such as you have in the armed forces.

    September 21, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. water bearer

    TOUGH! GET OVER IT! Sorry for the shouting but this is ridiculous already! We already HAVE gays and lesbians in the armed forces. They serve and DIE right next to their straight counterparts. Their blood bleeds just as red as their straight counterparts. The ONLY difference is that gays and lesbians can't be truthful about their lives back home. If they are truthful they will get kicked out. If one of their straight counterparts outs them, they will get kicked out. This is a violation of their civil rights as American citizens. When did we start leaving civil rights up to popular opinion???

    September 21, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Pretty much Neanderthal BS. Marines think they're in the 18th century. They're not. Read any history, there were queers in the Corps. As much as any other segment of society, except they shoot better than most, beat up squids in bars, and follow orders.
    other nations have allowed gays to serve, there is no disruption. The only disruption is if the person cannot do the job. Fail the course of driving a truck, you're not going to drive a truck. Its the same with any other military skill.

    Marines follow orders. IF DADT is repealed, they'll salute and carry on.

    Its time to quit the stupid surveys and coddling the troops. We going to VOTE on the next war???

    September 21, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. ChumBucket

    There should be no "don't ask don't tell"

    either ban gays in the military, or allow them.

    "don't ask don't tell" is wishy washy, and what message is it trying to send? It's ok to break the rules, as long as you don't tell anyone?

    what's that all about?

    September 21, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Para954

    This guy sounds like a typical Jarhead to me.
    I don't remember anyone ever asking how we felt about anything else. We invaded the wrong country, made every mistake me made in Vietnam all over again, adopted a ridiculous uniformm, and watched officers get moved around or "forced into retirement" every time they made a mistake that would end an enlisted man's career. Our opinions never mattered then, and now when we can be used as a tool to oppress gay rights these people want to stop and ask us. What an insult. There is no honor or integrity among the leaders of our military.

    September 21, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Devon

    He lacks "sensitivity," a Marine's most crucial quality.

    Doesn't he know that barriers, no matter how sensible, are made to be broken? It's called modernism. Get with it, jarhead.

    September 21, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Pete

    Approximately 25 other countries have gay soldiers openly serving in their militaries. NONE of the "cohesion" problems fretted about by this general have occurred. Perhaps if our soldiers are too bigoted to serve this country without prejudice, they ought to go home.

    September 21, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Roger in Atlanta

    what about the unique needs of all the gay and lesbian men whp have given their lives for their country and yet have to sneak around in secret because of the prejudice of others?

    September 21, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Roger in Atlanta and lesbian men and women who:)

    September 21, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Gen. James Amos US Marine inventor of the "Code Red". No matter if the policy is changed or not he will mainatain the policy of "code red".

    September 21, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Steph

    He has a right to his personal opinion the same way the joint chiefs of staff do when they say the would like it repealed. For goodness sakes, if you questioned everyone in the military you can find people who still don't think women should serve. I'm confident you could even find some who don't want a racially integrated military.

    DADT is unconstitutional! You would think with all the constitutional scholars running around in the tea party, they would be all for repealing DADT. Oh, but they only care about certain parts of the constitution. The right to have an assault rifle in a national park – they are all for that. Freedom of religion – only if it is freedom of their specific religion and has nothing to do with building a rec center that includes a mosque, especially if it is being built in the old Burlington Coat Factory building in lower Manhattan. The 14th Amendment – they like some of it, just not the part that gives someone with foreign parents who is born in the USA citizenship. I could go on, but you get the point.

    September 21, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. nazario a. gonzales

    If Congress repeals DADT, the disruption in the armed forces will be significant. The last things soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines is open sexuality in the barracks and living quarters of these men and women. Of course, the military will conduct politically correct indoctrination for the troops, but the final arbiter will be the men and women who serve and the solution will be found in the barracks where they live. I am afraid, based on my past active duty in the Army Reserves, that it won't be pretty.

    September 21, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell is already a compromise that Clinton implemented.
    Keep it as is – but don't kick Gays out. Maybe keep them in separate units or specialized duties that keep them safe.

    Gay activists think you can just force the Senate into a vote or force your agenda by having celebrities protest. See what happens? They will just vote No, like when California voted No. So just relax and stop being so militant. As the old people die off – eventually things will change regardless.

    September 21, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. ddt

    This man is an idiot. Can this so called general fight the war by himself? The gay men and women give thier blood for all of us. We have countries like Britain, Israel and many European countries our closest alies have gays serving in their military openly. It is stupid wrong for the party with full of WITCHES to try to be in control of everything. Republicans think they are the true Americans than others. Why don't they call back all those gay men and women back from these stupid wars if they think they are not fit to serve? Pathetic

    September 21, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    General Amos has said, "the Marine Corps will get in step and do it smartly", and if General Amos does become the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, and DADT is repealed he should be the first to "Get in step and do it smartly".

    September 21, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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