Secretary Gates: "No Early Release For Bigots"

Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates made it clear that Servicemembers who didn’t care to serve with freshly uncloseted gays would have no choice but to suck it up. 

This exchange was reported by an ABC News affiliate from Gates’ recent tour of Forward Operating Base Dwyer in Afghanistan. A Marine had an opportunity to ask the Secretary a question during a Q&A session:

“We have not given the Marines a chance to decide whether they wish to continue serving under [repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell]. Is there going to be an option for those Marines that no longer wish to serve due to the fact their moral values have not changed?” he asked.

“No,” Gates responded. “You’ll have to complete your … enlistment just like everybody else.”

Must have been devastating to him to hear his bigotry isn’t given any special accommodations, just like they don’t accommodate Neo-Nazis, Christian Dominionists or White Supremacists’ offended “moral values.”  Gates continues: 

“The reality is that you don’t all agree with each other on your politics, you don’t agree with each other on your religion, you don’t agree with each other on a lot of things,” he added. “But you still serve together. And you work together. And you look out for each other. And that’s all that matters.”

How humiliating it must have been for that soldier to need a personal reminder directly from the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America that his job priority number one is to look out for the backs of all the fellow soldiers he’s asked to serve alongside. You’d think it’d be hard to lose sight of that in the battlefield of Afghanistan. Clearly not a warrior with his eyes on the big picture. Guess it’s true, recruiting standards have slipped. 

Hope he was paying attention when Gates continued:

“You will still have to abide by the same rules of behavior, the same discipline, the same respect for each other that has been the case through all the history of the Marine Corps.”

You know, the discipline rules that don’t have any exceptions for starting trouble with someone who offends your “moral values.” Like a soldier that cheats on his wife, takes drugs, or worships a different God, or–heaven forbid–no God. 

Move along soldier, nothing to see here. 

And well said, Secretary Gates. Now, please consider Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s request that you please certify repeal before you retire. 

Let’s get it done before the House Republicans succeed in their plans to derail it. 

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