Gates: Troops Who Disagree with Military Policy on Gays Must Complete Enlistment ‘Like Everybody Else’

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Marines in Afghanistan that troops won't be able to opt-out of their enlistment just because they disagree with gays serving openly in the military.

Gates Gates made the remarks on a farewell trip to Afghanistan, Reuters reports:

"Sir, we joined the Marine Corps because the Marine Corps has a set of standards and values that is better than that of the civilian sector. And we have gone and changed those values and repealed the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy," the sergeant told Gates during the question and answer session.

"We have not given the Marines a chance to decide whether they wish to continue serving under that. 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."

"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."

The U.S. Army recently launched a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' website with narration, scripts, frequently asked questions, vignettes, DoD policy guidance, implementation plans and service-specific material.


  1. Chadd says

    Good answer Mr Gates. Whether or not he is a willing ally, he is doing the right thing. He made it clear that there is no uncertainty from the top.

  2. B-rod says

    Moral values? Please. The military is nothing but legalize murder. If this marine is so worried about his “values” that he can’t serve, he should have thought about that before he enlisted because last time I checked the 10 Commandments, it said “you shall not murder”

  3. Ben in Oakland says

    So who is it that is the threat to unit cohesion?

    The gay guy who just wants to live his life and swerve his country…

    or the homophobe who would rather quit than serve alongsaide osmepone whom he disagrees with.

  4. Toto says

    That really is one of the best, straight forward answers I have heard yet about repeal. He doesn’t play sympathizer to men and women who should be adult enough to treat one another with respect in the first place. So many leaders who speak about the change and whats expected of troops make statements like “I know this may be difficult for you and your family” or “I’m not trying to change anyone’s morals” as a way to curry favor and seem like just one of the good old boys.

  5. says

    PLEASE! Gates has been playing “sympathizer to men and women who SHOULD be adult enough to treat one another with respect in the first place” for most of his career. Why didn’t he say this in 2009? 2009? 2007? 2006? Etc. Etc.

    The phony needless, months-long, multimillion dollar “study” was SOLEY his idea, ironically backfiring on his expectation that it would show that the majority of troops were against repeal so he could stop it. He is the SOLE reason that Obama did nothing while some 700 were discharged since he became President and STILL hasn’t actually ENDED the ban nearly six months after signing the bill AND hasn’t used his legal authority to stop investigations that are STILL going on AND is STILL sending his DOJ into court to fight the LCR ruling AND the ACLU class action on separation pay for eligible discharged gays BUT still hounding discharged gays for repayment to the government of so-called “unearned pay.”

    The Palm Center’s Director Aaron Belkin pulled the curtain back in JANUARY:

    “The Pentagon could easily repeal the ban TODAY if there was the POLITICAL will. THE FOOT-DRAGGING IS NOT ABOUT SOME SINCERE OR LEGITIMATE SENSE THAT THE TROOPS NEED TO BE TRAINED ON HOW TO DEAL WITH GAYS; it’s because [some military brass in the process of retiring] don’t want to be around when the policy happens’.” – Washington Blade.

  6. says

    As for the Army DADT Website, it regurgitates this nonsense:

    Fierce Avocado Obama COULD FIX WITH THE STROKE OF HIS PEN—such as:

    “Sexual orientation will not be placed alongside race, color, religion, sex and national origin as a class under the Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) Program and therefore will not be dealt with through the MEO complaint process. …. There will be no changes to eligibility standards for military benefits and services. A same-sex partner should be treated the same as an UNRELATED third party.”

    Does no one CARE that even after repeal ACTUALLY happens, gay service members will be treated like second class citizens? That Obama could require gays to be included in the MEO Program with the stroke of a pen but is refusing?

    That there are some military partner benefits that even the Pentagon ADMITS are NOT banned by DOMA—such as access to military housing—that the President could also order but is, likewise, refusing.

  7. dizzy spins says

    Ive met many straightly military men—most recently during Fleet Week—who serve with gay troopmates and have no problem with it (or are at least smart enough to keep their issues to themselves). Idiots like the sergeant who piped up to Gates are traitors and cowards.

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