Marine Corps Commandant General James
Amos has backed away from statements that repeal of “Don't Ask,
Don't Tell” would cost Marines lives.
The policy that for 18 years banned gay
and bisexual troops from serving openly was officially lifted in
Speaking to The Associated Press,
Amos said implementation had gone smoothly and that U.S. Marines had
embraced the change.
“I'm very pleased with how it has
gone,” Amos said, adding that not once was he asked in Afghanistan
about the policy's end.
Using an anecdote about a female Marine
introducing her lesbian partner to his wife, Bonnie, at a ball
celebrating the birth of the Marine Corps, Amos noted that Marines
were taking the change in stride.
“Bonnie just looked at them and said,
'Happy birthday ball. This is great. Nice to meet you,'” Amos
said. “That is happening throughout the Marine Corps.”
Amos had previously objected to repeal
of the law, going so far as to suggest that the distraction of openly
gay troops might endanger the lives of Marines in combat.
“Mistakes and inattention or
distractions cost Marines lives,” he said during an interview with
the military's Stars and Stripes. “That's the currency of
“I take that very, very seriously,”
Amos added. “I don't want to lose any Marines to that distraction.
I don't want to have any Marines that I'm visiting at Bethesda
[National Naval Medical Center, in Maryland] with no legs be the
results of any type of distraction.”