Congressional Democrats and gay advocacy groups are calling for an apology from the military's top officer, Gen. Peter Pace, who said homosexuality is "immoral" and that the behavior should not be condoned by the military. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made his comments while speaking to The Chicago Tribune editorial board.
There has been a lot of talk recently, in both military and civilian circles, over whether the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is anachronistic, or out of step with the times.
In audiotapes released by the Tribune, Pace said he didn't think so.
"From that standpoint," he said, "saying gays should serve openly in the military, to me, says that, by policy, we'd be condoning what I believe to be immoral activity."
In an interview with the Pentagon's own television channel Tuesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates distanced himself from Pace's comments.
"I think personal opinion doesn't really have a place here," Gates said.
Senior Pentagon officials privately said the defense secretary summoned Pace to his office after the comments came to light, and demanded he put out a statement.
Pace released a statement — not an apology, but regret, he said, for expressing his personal views on morality.