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“That’s about the only difference that I see between the other services,” said the 40-year Marine. “I mean, they recruit from a great strain of young Americans as well. They all come from the same areas and that type of thing. So I can only think that, as we look at our mission, how we are forced to live in close proximity aboard ship, in the field for long periods of time and that type of thing, that the average Marine out there pretty uniformly [does] not endorse [repeal] as the ideal way ahead.”

He added, “I caution our Marines and our Marine leadership: If the law changes, we pride our Corps in leading the services in many, many things, and we’re going to have to lead in this, too. There will be a hundred issues out there that we have to solve, if the law changes, in terms of how we do business, and we cannot be seen as dragging our feet or some way delaying implementation. We’ve got a war to fight. We need to, if the law changes, implement and get on with it.”

The Marines bunk two to a room.

“And I can tell you that an overwhelming majority would like not to be roomed with a person who is openly homosexual,” he said. “Some do not object and perhaps a voluntary basis might be the best way to start, without violating anybody’s sense of moral concern or perception on the part of their mates.”

He elaborated: “We have some people that are very religious. And I think in some instances — I couldn’t begin to give you a percentage — but I think in some instances, we will have people that say that homosexuality is wrong, and they simply do not want to room with a person of that persuasion because it would go against their religious beliefs.”

Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at