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Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

My Response to the Marine Commandant

Friday, March 26th, 2010

General Conway - Sir, the remarks you made on Thursday scare the hell out of me. It isn't your opinion that bothers me, it is how out of touch you are with your own people.

Let me be the first to inform you: They aren't "letting gays into the military" - there are over 65,000 gays currently serving on active duty and they are serving our country honorably.

Your request for single room barracks is completely absurd. Those 65,000 gays that I mentioned earlier are ALREADY living in "mixed housing" and it isn't even an issue. Our troops are professionals, and they don't have a problem serving together or living together.

FYI:

* 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International 2006)

* The younger generations, those who fight America's 21st century wars, largely don't care about whether someone is gay or not - and they do not link job performance with sexual orientation.

* One in four U.S. troops who served in Afghanistan or Iraq knows a member of their unit who is gay (Zogby, 2006).

* Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal (Gallup, 2009).

* Seventy-five percent of Americans support gays serving openly - up from just 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).

* The military has discharged almost 800 mission-critical troops and at least 59 Arabic and nine Farsi linguists under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the last five years.

* In 1993 RAND Corp. study concluded that openly gay people in the U.S. military do not negatively impact unit cohesion, morale, good order, or military readiness.

* Studies of the militaries in Australia, Israel, Great Britain and Canada have shown open service to have no adverse effect on enrollment or retention. Great Britain integrated a decade ago and it has actually improved their unit cohesion.

* 24 countries allow openly gay service. The US and Turkey are the only two original NATO countries that still have a ban in place.

Sir, if you are not willing to lead us forward, then at least retire and get out of the way.

-- Gary Wright II

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