Yuma, Arizona Mayor Al Krieger has
apologized for calling gay troops “limp-wristed” and unfit for
The Republican mayor drew heat last
week when he spoke in favor of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the
policy that bans gay troops from serving openly, during a Memorial
Day speech at Desert Lawn Cemetery.
“And I cannot believe that a bunch of
limp-wristed, lacey-drawed people could do what those men have done
in the past,” the Army veteran said.
Openly gay Marine Eric Alva called
Krieger's comments “hateful.”
“Apparently old prejudices die hard,”
Alva, the first service member injured in the Iraq war, wrote at
Jarrod Chlapowski, an openly gay Army
veteran, also criticized Krieger, saying: ““It's deliberately
offensive, an inaccurate characterization of gay and lesbian service
members that do serve this country honorably everyday.”
“As mayor I must respect the
lifestyle choices of others, no matter how disagreeable they are with
my personal beliefs or my personal moral standards,” Krieger told
Sun on Friday.
“I apologize for my comments at the
Memorial Day service at Desert Lawn cemetery on Memorial Day,” he
Earlier the mayor had defended his
comments. Speaking to local NBC affiliate KYMA, he said he was only
speaking from his heart and compared himself to George Washington and
Abraham Lincoln, saying those leaders would have agreed with him.
“There is an issue currently in the
military with homosexuals serving on the battlefield and I think it's
going to be detrimental to men on the battlefield to have that
conflict with sexual preference,” Krieger said, then added that
America is at war and in need of “solid, strong men, not pacifists,
to fight those battles.”