Other officials said lukewarm support for reappointing Gen. Pace among key Republicans influenced Mr. Gates' recommendation. Sens. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Armed Services member, and John W. Warner of Virginia, a former panel chairman, were among those Republicans, the officials said.The Washington Post,
Gen. Pace was disappointed by the decision, which effectively ends his career, the officials said. Earlier this year, he was told that he could expect to serve a second two-year term. He angered homosexual groups and their supporters in Congress earlier this year when he called homosexuality "immoral" in a newspaper interview.
Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) took the reins of the congressional effort to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy this week, though she was quick to point out that ending the ban on openly gay service members has little chance of passage unless a Democratic president takes office in 2009.And of course, The San Francisco Chronicle,
Tauscher is taking over sponsorship of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act from Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), who is leaving Congress in July to become chancellor of his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Along with the change in the makeup of Congress, comments made by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have inflamed the debate about "don't ask, don't tell." He told reporters at the Chicago Tribune in March that he believes homosexuality is immoral. His position drew criticism from several fronts, including Tauscher, who called it "wrongheaded."
Supporters of lifting the ban cited a Zogby poll taken late last year that 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with gays and lesbians serving openly. The Advocate magazine is running a story next week featuring three active-duty soldiers who are open in their units and contend that their being out has made their units stronger, rather than weaker.If you want to know what I think, go here.
Former Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr, who led the fight in 1994 against same-sex marriage, wrote Wednesday that opposition by GOP presidential candidates to lifting the military ban is wrongheaded.
"Attitudes both within and outside the military have shifted greatly since 1993," Barr wrote. "There is little reason left to believe gays openly serving would break the armed forces. Americans want strong, moral leadership, and they are quick to sniff out pandering and expediency."