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Gen. Amos was quoted Nov. 7 during a visit to Marine bases in Southern California as opposing repeal at this time asserting that service members currently are involved in two wars. His comments brought a mild rebuke from Adm. Michael Mullen, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, who wants a gag on such statements as Pentagon leaders study the issue.

Maj. Joseph Plenzler, Gen. Amos’ spokesman, told special correspondent Rowan Scarborough that news stories on the commandant’s remarks omitted the general’s full reasoning.

Here is Gen. Amos’ full quote:

“There is nothing more intimate than combat and I want to make that point crystal clear. There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women, and when you’re talking infantry, we’re talking our young men laying out, sleeping alongside of one another, and sharing death and fear and the loss of their brothers. So I don’t know what the effect of that would be on unit cohesion.”

Maj. Plenzler said stories also omitted the general’s remarks in defense of the survey on the issue, which was ordered by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and due in full Dec. 1. The quote:

“I mean that’s what we’re looking at, unit cohesion, its combat effectiveness. So I’ve got questions,” Gen. Amos said. “And that’s part of the reason I’m very, not part of the reason, it is the reason why I’m very supportive of Secretary Gates’ efforts to do the survey. The survey is done, the results are in.”

Gay debate loss

The gay-rights community is bemoaning the loss of one of its biggest boosters in the House of Representatives.

Two-termer Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, Pennsylvania Democrat, lost his re-election bid (54 percent to 46 percent), after successfully championing repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on open homosexuality. Republicans have stalled repeal legislation in the Senate.

“The House of Representatives and our country lost a bright, capable young leader,” said Aubrey Sarvis, who heads the anti-ban Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “SLDN will forever remember and be grateful for Patrick’s remarkable leadership in the fight to repeal DADT, and I have no doubt Patrick Murphy will be back to serve this nation again. We appreciate his long and extraordinary service to our country.”

While it did not appear to be a big issue in his district, north of Philadelphia, a pro-ban group cited the results as a warning to lawmakers in moderate-to-conservative districts, special correspondent Rowan Scarborough reports.

Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness, cited a poll a pro-ban coalition commissioned.

“The scientific survey showed that support for gays in the military makes voters less likely to support a candidate promoting the homosexual agenda for the military,” Mrs. Donnelly said. “If President Obama really wants to concentrate on more important matters, such as the economy, he should do the nation a favor and let the losing gays-in-the-military cause go.”

Said Aaron Belkin, who directs the pro-gay Palm Center research group, “Murphy’s fight for equality may have alienated some traditional values voters in his district and prompted them to turn out at higher rates.”