Thursday, June 19, 2008

Public Statement of Morality Ends General's Career

General Peter Pace said, "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."

-- From "Homosexual Activists Oppose Medal for Retired General" by Randy Hall, Staff Writer/Editor 6/19/08

See background from July 2007

( - Two homosexual advocacy groups are criticizing the decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired General Peter Pace. He'll be honored on Thursday.

"Honoring General Pace with the country's highest civilian award is outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops currently serving on active duty in the armed forces," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), in a news release on Wednesday.

"Honoring General Pace for using his personal prejudice to meddle with military matters is just plain wrong," [Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays] PFLAG added. "There should be no medal for bigotry and intolerance."

While conservatives rallied in support of the general, he later apologized for injecting his personal opinion in his defense of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

In Sept. 26, 2007, testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Pace noted: "We should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law."

"All I'm saying is that in my responsibility -- with the authority I've been given and responsibilities I've been given -- are to obey the law of the land and to object if something is either illegal or immoral," he said.

Pace retired from his post on Oct. 1. At the time, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the decision not to appoint him to a second term wasn't a reflection on Pace's performance but an acknowledgement that the general would face bruising questioning by the Senate Armed Services Committee over early mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

"If we've come to the point in this country where our leaders cannot answer a question about homosexuality for fear of being demonized by the 'Gay Thought Police,' then we've lost the very freedom that Gen. Pace defended -- and for which our heroic men and women in the armed forces paid the ultimate price to protect," [said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth -- a group devoted to opposing "gay" activism.]

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