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Gen. Horner, a former fighter pilot, said he supports the ban because he fears military readiness will suffer if open homosexuals are allowed to serve, “particularly given the land forces, the way they have to live and operate.”

Asked how an Air Force fighter wing will accept openly gay personnel, he said: “There’s a lot less prejudice nowadays against people who are gay, but that does not necessarily mean that people want to live side by side with them.”