Gen. Pace Exercised His First Amendment Right

The freedom of speech is one of our most prized and fundamental liberties. And so, when a decorated war veteran who fought to defend that liberty is then denied the right to use it, I cannot stand idly by. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was belittled for giving an honest answer and expressing his personal convictions regarding the morality of homosexuality. He expressed his personal views at a time when Members of the House are insisting on more candor from our men and women in uniform. General Pace provided that candor. Good for him.

In 1993, Congress passed and President Clinton signed language often referred to as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The rule prohibits military recruiters and service members from inquiring about a soldier's sexuality. If members of Congress believe that policy is flawed, they should try to change it. But to condemn a man -- to charge a patriot with intolerance and bigotry -- for exercising a right he fought so bravely to protect is an insult to us all. My letter to all 435 members of Congress regarding General Pace is on my website.

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