General Pace Calls Homosexuality Immoral

The above was a headline in recent news. General Pace is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He compared homosexuality to adultery. He went on to say he does support the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the armed forces. And he stated, “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts."

I’d like to argue that there are troubling inconsistencies and repercussions from such statements from someone in such a high office. Let me suggest a few.

If adultery is likened to homosexuality, then is an individual who is an admitted adulterer, as are all but one of the Republican presidential contenders -- and also Gingrich should he opt to enter the race -- too immoral to become commander and chief?

Are all the legally married homosexual couples in Massachusetts automatically immoral?

Is it not immoral to engage in the lying and subterfuge, that General Pace finds acceptable by continuing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy now in place.

Let’s consider a hypothetical family in Massachusetts, Jim and Jeff are a legally married homosexual couple with two small well adjusted, well loved, and well cared for children. Now Jeff is a Sargent in the Army and is in Iraq going out daily on dangerous patrols. He is careful not to post a photo of his family in his quarters. Or ever mention his partner and their children. He cannot receive any military benefits for his family under any condition due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Now a roadside bomb seriously wounds Jeff on patrol. In a coma he is transferred to Walter Reed but is not allowed visits by Jim due to the intervention of Jeff’s family. He is legally shut out by federal law, and if in a VA hospital in Virginia, by Virginia law.

The United States is becoming one of a shrinking number of western countries who view homosexuality as an immoral condition that must be, at the least, kept in the closet, and at its worst be subject to bias and discrimination. And often becomes license for more bigoted individuals to engage in abuse and violence against homosexuals.

Our forces serve in Iraq and Afghanistan with EU nation soldiers who can be and are openly homosexual – with no reported problems. Those nations have eliminated bias against individuals due to their sexual orientation.

The news reports tell that over 10,000 homosexuals have been drummed out of our armed forces due to this policy. One has to ask what difference those 10,000 solders would have made – especially in a time when the military services are lowering their standards and finding it difficult to meet staffing requirements.

This in 2007 when country after enlightened country have come to accept the reality that sexual orientation is not immoral, that committed monogamous love between two consenting adults is not immoral. But bias, and prejudice, and intolerance, and hypocrisy, and forced subterfuge are immoral. Thoughtful, intelligent, moral people on both the right and the left should realize this truth. And our voice should be stronger and loader than the General Paces of the world and their superstitious, hurtful, and ignorant viewpoints on homosexuality.

I am moved to write this as, at 63, and a gay man, I went to high school locally, am a University of Richmond graduate, spent 22 years in DuPont middle management, was an advisor to the Saudi military for six years, started and ran my own small manufacturing company – but my entire life has been clouded by the inability to have an openly recognized monogamous relation with someone I love and who loves me. Something that every heterosexual in America takes for granted. Ignorance by family, friends, church, and government has prevented the most basic and enduring of human needs to be realized.

And I write this in the hope that someone reading this will stop and think of the pain and anxiety that such ignorance brings to an individual life – and possibly will add their own voice to changing antiquated laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.


Rogue said…
So you're saying that a man who performs an act agaisnt nature (such as inserting his penis into the anus of another man) should hold the same level of moral equivalence as a couple capable of evolutionarily normal sexual coupling?

Huh? What's next, accepting the lifestyle of Jimmy with his pet goat?
Medicine, science, and psychology (soft science) all outline the negative outcomes of this behavior. If you can't find scholarly, peer-reviewed studies, let me know. I have degrees in Psychology and Education and show you how to conduct article-reviews.

Where do you personally draw the line on what is aberrant? Or is there a line at all?
MB said…
Go to hell, Rogue. And take your ignornance with you.


Excellent post, Bill.
Bill Garnett said…
In their amicus brief (Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning), The American Psychological Association, stated:

"The State’s official discrimination against same-sex couples harms the children being raised by these parents. Empirical research studies have consistently found that lesbian and gay parents do not differ from heterosexuals in their parenting skills, and their children do not show any deficits compared to children raised by heterosexual parents. It is the quality of parenting that predicts children’s psychological and social adjustment, not the parents’ sexual orientation or gender. If their parents’ relationships are legally recognized, the children of same-sex couples will benefit from the legal stability and other familial benefits that this recognition offers, as well as from elimination of state-sponsored stigmatization of their families."

The Association has more than 155,000 members and affiliates, including the majority of psychologists holding doctoral degrees from accredited universities in this country. That’s 155,000 -- 'rogue', just how many expert opinions do I need? And how many do you have supporting your position?

In the same case the National Association of Social Workers stated, "as for the assumption that children are better off with heterosexual parents. There is no empirical basis for this proposition. To the contrary, all the social science research on same-sex parenting has reached the same, unequivocal conclusion: lesbian and gay couples raise children who are as healthy, happy and well-adjusted as those raised by heterosexual couples. Based on all the measures by which child development is analyzed, there is no meaningful distinction between children raised by same-sex couples and children raised by opposite-sex couples. Indeed, there are no scientifically valid social science studies establishing that children raised by an intact same-sex couple are any differently adjusted as compared with those raised by an intact opposite-sex couple."

The National Association of Social Workers is the largest social work association in the world, with 153,000 members and chapters in every state as well as internationally. That’s 153,000 -- 'rogue', just how many expert opinions do I need? And how many do you have supporting your position?

The AMA, the APA, and WHO all have concluded that homosexuality is a state of being and not a moral choice.

As for your "acts against nature" remark, I suppose you are just not up to date with sexual research, anthropology research, or the discoveries of homosexuality naturally occurring in nature.
Anonymous said…
The regulation limiting marriage to one man and one woman is biologically sound. Only one man and one woman can produce a child; there is no other combination. Families are about procreation and upbringing of children. The argument about being able to get married just because one can raise a child is flawed; my two sisters can raise children, should they be able to get married? Right now they can't because the law forbids marriage of genetically related persons to a certain degree.
The basis of that law is that genetically related persons have a high risk of producing non-viable and deformed offspring. My sisters have no risk of having any children of their own so why can't they get married?
The reason is that the marriage laws are predicated on the biological reality that one man and one woman produce children, not any other combination. That's why two people of the same gender can't get married; that's why more than two people can't get married; that's why closely-related persons can't get married; that's why people can't marry other life forms. The understanding of marriage by society is closely linked to the biological reality of procreation. If that biological link is severed then there is no basis for having any special recognition by society of any gender and number of persons in a committed relationship; all must be allowed because to do otherwise would simply be an arbitrary exercise of authority by the legislature.

mb, while I respect your right to say what you like, your reply is meaningless and does not refute any argument presented by rogue.

rogue, links work -- use them. If you know where peer-reviewed articles are then provide links to those articles.

bill, while the APA has a position we cannot conclude from that fact that all 153,000 members support the APA stance. There are no facts presented showing how many of members support the APA position; how many might be afraid of losing their jobs, contracts, etc. for expressing a contrary opinion. Unless there was broad-based consultation and consensus specifically on this issue then the APA's opinion has little weight; it only takes a small number of people to write a document.
David said…
The basis for the recognition and support of committed intimate partnerships is that it benefits society. Excluding categories of people from full participation in society 1) creates instability, 2) is economically inefficient, and 3) is immoral.

Rogue didn't make any arguments to refute, and has no valid peer-reviewed articles to share. Antagonistic slurs are not arguments, and merit no response other than the one offered by MB, or possibly an expression of sympathy for poor Rogue's bitterness, anger and unwillingness to learn.

Great post, Bill.
Anonymous said…
From LUV:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he believes homosexual acts are immoral, the Chicago Tribune reported this morning. Highest-ranking military officer Marine Gen. Peter Pace should be required to resign for this.

It is time for a policy of accepting homosexuality the same as heterosexuality. Under the current policy people are actually kicked out of the military for being gay. Hitler punished people for being gay, and one would think we have advanced from that time.

Pace has accepted profits of defense contractors at the expense of poor treatment of wounded troops without speaking out on it. It has been sickening watching Pace kiss Donald Rumsfeld's butt over the years, which, if thought to be homosexual would have got him kicked out of the military. Merely being obnoxious, sadly, has not been cause for dismissal.
Anonymous said…
David said...

Rogue didn't make any arguments to refute

An argument you disagree with is still an argument. What is your counter-argument to rogue's argument that a procreative relationship, which brings forth the next generation, is not fungible with any other non-procreative relationship?

Excluding categories of people from full participation in society 1) creates instability, 2) is economically inefficient, and 3) is immoral.

I don't recall any mass instability because gays could not marry. Same-sex persons could still live together and live full lives together. Society gives special status to relationships that bring forth the next generation. Other combinations are allowed to happen under freedom of association and freedom of conscience but are not given any further special status.

I see no basis in your argument to substantiate any economic inefficiency.

As far as denying marriage to non-procreative relationships being immoral is concerned, that is valid as a personal opinion but is just as valid as a personal opinion to the contrary in relative terms. It is society's opinion at this juncture, by the established mechanism of representative democracy, that denying marriage to combinations of relationships other than one man and one woman is not immoral.
Perhaps you are trying to say that it is immoral in an absolute sense but then I would request you provide a more substantial ethical argument, illustrating the ethical framework from which you logically arrive at this conclusion.
Bill Garnett said…
To Anonymous,

(and I’d prefer if you didn’t post anonymously on this blog)

I appreciate your points and your thoughtful argument. However try this line of reasoning:

1) In recent decades science and medicine have concluded that homosexuality is a state of being and not a moral choice. This is new information that is percolating through our societal consciousness and is being more accepted overtime – not less.

2) The United States has a long tradition of extending equal rights to minorities where these minorities have been shown to be moral and deserving of these rights.

3) The United States has a long tradition of accepting logic and reason and facts when there is a conflict with warring religious beliefs – in other words our longer term societal conclusion gravitates to secular and reasoned arguments and usually trump religious beliefs – e.g. Sunday blue laws, alcohol prohibition.

4) The benefits of marriage are routinely extended to just about any two citizens who happen to be opposite sex – irrespective of whether they can or will have children and irrespective of whether they even love each other. It can be cited as the tyranny of the majority that this recognition and these benefits bestowed by government to two citizens (who happen to be of the opposite sex) are denied to two same sex tax paying citizens who have a loving committed relationship.

5) It is injurious to the families of gays and to the children of gays and to gays in general for our secular government to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

6) Holding homosexuals at a substandard and separate legal status by government can and does perpetuate an automatic negative status to these individuals and leads to unwelcome outcomes for society as a whole – e.g. suicide, hate crimes, taunting, bias, lives spent in pained duplicity, estrangement from family. Inclusion and acceptance of homosexuals with equal civil rights can arguably be expected to reduce some promiscuity, suggest a more fair and unconflicted society, and release the energy, creativity, and participation of a segment of society -- e.g. 10,000 soldiers that have been drummed out of the armed forces. And should coincidentally be a move in the direction of true family values – that is “families” where individuals can live within love, support, and caring.

7) Although I don’t say we have to adopt practices of other countries, I do say that the experience of more and more countries – and even states in America – suggest little if any downside from extending full and equal civil rights to homosexuals. And all this suggests to me that history will place the opponents of equal rights to gays along side the likes of Orval Faubus, George Wallace, and Strom Thurmond
Ed Yuban said…
I find it unsettling that right wing wackos so often go from homosexuality to bestiality without blinking. I'm not one to point fingers, I'm just saying.

Anyway, I know this is just a smoke-screen to take our minds off of Scooter and Gonzalez. Unfortunately, Ann Coulter was already busy so they had to throw Pace under the bus this time. It is still unfortunate that many people's way of thinking hasn't progressed much further than how we viewed the world in grade school.

I hope you didn't take offense at that "track lighting" comment I posted yesterday, by the way.

Excellent entry. Keep them coming.
Jausen said…
I am 25 years old, gay, and a war veteran and I have been in a relationship with a guy for 7 years. I don't understand why people have to judge homosexuality as being immoral. Since when do people start thinking they can judge! Why judge and hate. The bible doesn't say anything about it being alright to hate. I served my country and earned my freedom. I live my life the way I want to, not by how others think I should. There are 65,000 gay and lesbians in the military, if it wasn't for them then I wonder how our country would be protected. If people hate gays so much, then why not hate all males, because males are mostly to blame for rape and murder. I am a guy and I have to say it is obvious that males are the weaker sex. Hate the people who murder, rape children, and steal...not the gays who are in a loving, monogomous relationship. My boyfriend and I have adopted 7 children and I have a child from a girl I have known since middle school. Get a life for those who have no life, but to tell others what they are doing wrong...pathetic. I am financially secure to where I don't ever have to work, why don't u hate me because I have money too, while most people have to work until they are old.

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