By Hilary White

  WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2007 ( – Homosexual acts are immoral and have no place in the US military says the United States’ most senior military chief, General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  In March Pace, a Catholic who is to retire this week, raised a storm of controversy when he told the Chicago Tribune in an interview, “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.” The general said his views stemmed from his personal upbringing where he was taught that some types of behaviour are immoral.

  He did not believe “the United States is well-served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”

  Reiterating this position last Wednesday, Pace, said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in Washington that he had been misquoted in the press in his original comments this spring. While anti-war protesters sitting in the committee chamber jeered and called him a “bigot,” Pace clarified his position saying that while it was a fact that there are “wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military” he wanted to be very “precise”.

“That we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God’s law.”

  Pace said he would be “very willing and able and supportive” to changes in policy “to continue to allow the homosexual community to contribute to the nation without condoning what I believe to be activity – whether it to be heterosexual or homosexual – that in my upbringing is not right.”

  Pace’s comments this spring resulted in a backlash from homosexual activists and support from the Catholic Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput, who said he deserved respect for telling the truth in the face of heavy opposition.

“Note that Pace did not say that, ‘homosexual persons are evil,’” the Archbishop wrote. “He said that homosexual acts are wrong. And of course he’s right. We might question the general’s choice to comment in the context he did, but not his content. He simply stated the Western moral tradition. We should respect his courage for saying it.”

  In a speech on Monday, President Bush praised Pace thanking him for his key role in planning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling him one of “the most respected and accomplished military leader I have ever known” and noted his “resolve and guidance during difficult times”.

  Read related coverage:

General Pace – Chair of US Joint Chiefs of Staff: “homosexual acts…are immoral”

  Archbishop of Denver Backs General Pace on belief that Homosexual Acts are Immoral