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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 13, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 02
Mattis won't say he supports LGBT service in military
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Mattis won't say he supports LGBT service in military

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

At his January 12 confirmation hearing, General James Mattis, Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Defense, repeatedly refused to say whether he supports LGBT people serving in the military.

The question came up because Mattis wrote in a book published last year that a 'progressive agenda' imposing 'social change' on the military posed a 'risk to our forces.'

Mattis warned that following the 2010 repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, 'an uninformed public is permitting political leaders to impose an accretion of social conventions that are diminishing the combat power of our military.'

During his confirmation hearing, Mattis evaded three separate questions about LGBT people serving openly in the military.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand asked point-blank, 'Do you believe that openly serving homosexuals, along with women in combat units, is undermining our force?'

'My belief is we have to stay focused on a military that's so lethal that on the battlefield it will be the enemy's longest day and their worst day when they run into that force,' Mattis replied, without addressing Gillibrand's question.

'I believe military service is a touchstone for patriots of whatever stripe,' he continued. 'It's the way they demonstrate their commitment. I believe the policies that are now in effect, unless a service chief brings something to me where there's a problem, then I'm not going in with an idea that I'm going to review these right away or start rolling something back.'

When Gillibrand pressed for an answer, Mattis responded, 'Frankly I've never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with.'

After Gillibrand's third attempt to get a clear answer on women and LGBT individuals serving in the armed forces, Mattis answered, 'My concern is on the readiness on the force to fight and to make certain it's at the top of its game& that's my obligation as I look as this job.'

Donald Trump previously hinted that he might object to Transgender people serving in the military. In response to a soldier's question about 'social engineering' that would allow Trans recruits, Trump assured him, 'We're going to get away from political correctness - we're going to have to do that.'

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