The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, the highest ranking officer in that branch of the service (if you ignore the fact that the Marine Corps is technically part of the U.S. Navy) has weighed in on the subject of changing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Though he will follow the President’s orders and the laws passed by Congress, he has publicly stated that he would not want to force a straight Marine to share a room with a gay Marine.
It’s a unique problem for the Marines, because they are the only military service that has military personnel on U.S. bases billet two-to-a-room.
“In this case, I would want to reserve the right of a Marine that thinks he or she wouldn’t want to [share a room with a homosexual]. And again that’s the overwhelming … number of people that say that they wouldn’t like to do so.”
The Marine Corps puts two people in a room together because it believes that it’s good for unit cohesion. The Commandant’s concern is that a gay Marine sharing a room with a straight one might have the opposite effect… And if that proves to be the case, then the Corps “will adopt the single-room standard of the other services.”
There’s an interesting poll posted on The Muster, which is Military.com’s daily poll. It asks respondents whether the Marine Commandant is right to worry about a gay marine and a straight marine sharing a room together. As of this afternoon, 55% of responses say that it would be a problem, while 45% say that it wouldn’t necessarily be one. Feel free to respond to the poll yourself, but I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this page too.
So here’s your chance… Should gay marines have their own separate housing, or is “separate but equal” not any more acceptable on matters of sexual orientation than it is on matters of race or religion? Reply below!