Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, recently spoke on gay marriage and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during a recent interview with Larry King.
On the issue of gay marriage, Rumsfeld said that he doesn’t exactly know where he is in the debate. He does wonder what would come next if gay marriage were to be legalized. He specifically says, “two people? three people?” as if he’s wondering if polygamists will be the next group demanding the state recognize their marriages.
King then reminds Rumsfeld that he was a proponent of civil rights in the 60s. He responds to King by saying that he doesn’t necessarily view gay marriage as part of a larger civil rights agenda.
It should be noted that he doesn’t have any animosity towards homosexuals. In a previous question on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he says that its repeal was only a matter of time. He points out that homosexuals have served in the military for decades, and that they served their country well.
That being said, he thinks that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be tougher in certain parts of the military. He predicts that it will be easier to implement openly gay service men and women in the Air Force and Navy, but cautions that implementation among ground forces may be a little trickier. In other words, he worries that unit cohesion, or the ability of a troop to work together as a whole, may be impacted negatively if soldiers respond negatively to openly gay squad mates.
You can watch the relevant part of the interview below:[h/t: Salon]