Video: Harkin Challenges General Pace For Anti-Gay Comments

SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2007 | ryan.alexander

During the final minues of a Senate hearing Wednesday with Gen. Peter Pace, Sen. Tom Harkin asked the chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff to clarify remarks he made in March when he told the Chicago Tribute that homosexual acts where “immoral” and that the military should continue its “don’t ask don’t tell policy”.

Click the play button below to watch video from the hearing:

In response to this back and forth from between General Pace and Senator Harkin, the Des Moines Register published an editorial supporting the Senator for his questioning of General Pace and supporting his efforts to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” that has forced over 9,000 brave servicemen and women from our military between 1994 and 2003:

It was all started by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

After a back and forth with Pace about the closing of Guantanamo, Harkin had just one more comment.

“I don’t want to end this on a discordant note,” he began. But after watching Ken Burns’ World War II epic on PBS, the senator said it occurred to him again how many gay men lost their lives fighting for this country.

“And your statement that homosexual acts are immoral and we shouldn’t condone that in the military, it was very hurtful. Millions of Americans are gay men and lesbian women, and they are some of our most upstanding, law-abiding, moral citizens that we have …. Very hurtful comments, very demoralizing comments, and if you have anything to add – to say to that, I would be open to listen,” Harkin said.

The audience was cheering throughout.

Pace stuck to his proverbial guns, again calling homosexual acts, as well as heterosexual sex outside marriage, “immoral.”

“That’s what I was taught. That’s what I believe,” he said.

Pace also said he supports “don’t ask, don’t tell” because it “allows those who are homosexual to serve this nation if they so choose. It makes no judgment about their morality. It gives them the opportunity to serve,” he said.

That’s one way of looking at it.

And then there is reality.

The reality is that this policy sends a message to troops that it’s OK to die for your country as long as you shut up about being gay. That not only judgmental, it’s a discriminatory policy that should not exist in the United States military.

It’s especially galling when the military is stretched thin by war.

Click here to check your local PBS listings for the Ken Burns World War II Documentary Film that Senator Harkin mentions during the testimony. | digg this | stumble it! | share on facebook

On October 2nd, 2007 at 02:22 PM, John wrote:

Thank you Harkin!

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