Marine Corps’ commandant Gen. James Conway has declared that, if Congress allows openly gay personnel, those marines will be given separate rooms to avoid forcing straight marines to share quarters with homosexuals.
Conway is a known opponent of repealing the law and insisted “I would not ask our Marines to live with someone who is homosexual if we can possibly avoid it. . . And to me that means we have to build BEQs [bachelor enlisted quarters] and have single rooms.”
Of course, if you want your own room, there is now an easy way to get it in the Corps.
Conway must know that, if there is segregation of gays, that is likely to reinforce the animosity in the ranks toward gay personnel. It could also produce a conflict with Congress and the White House, which could prohibit such separate but equal policies in housing. The Marines, like other services, once segregated black personnel, which would be a troubling model in the twenty-first century. Conway could claim that this falls into his discretion of “good discipline and order.” However, it also undermines the goal of incorporation of gay personnel in the ranks as a policy set by the Commander and Chief and Congress. In such a conflict, the Commander and Chief would prevail — if he was willing to take up the fight. What is clear is that a more organized opposition is emerging in the ranks – at the encouragement of high-ranking officers.
For the full story, click here