Pentagon: Segregation of Gay Troops ‘Absolutely Off the Table’

Igor Volsky at The Wonk Room spoke with Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell to further clarify some elements of the working group survey on DADT sent out to 400,000 troops yesterday.

Morrell  On "facilities adjustments" and claims by others that this means segregation:

"…we’re asking these questions because in our engagements with the force thus far, this has been an area of some concern. Now we need to test it to see if that holds for—if it really reflects the concerns of the force, and which members of the force. Is it older members? Is it younger members? Are they, you know—which ones? And, and then along with this information, the working group will make some recommendations about how to deal with those concerns. It could be, as I said, who knows? This could be dealt with through education programs, through training programs, or it may require 'facilities adjustments.' But no one, no one is considering 'separate but equal' bathing or living facilities for you know, gay and straight troops. That’s just not ever a consideration. Absolutely off the table."

Morrell told CBS yesterday that by "facilities adjustments" he meant things like shower curtains.

On what happens if the survey turns up a lot of people who don't like gays:

"Well we’re gonna have to figure out how we overcome that. Whether it’s through additional training or education or recruiting techniques – I can’t tell you what the working group may or may not come up with. This is not in any way intended for us to find potential landmines that would cause us not to proceed with a repeal, but rather is to edify us about the kinds of challenges associated with repeal that would need to be dealt with post-repeal. I guess what I don’t understand here is why you and some of these others who are writing on this issue can’t take what we say at face value."

More at The Wonk Room.

My larger round-up on reaction to the troop surveys HERE.