WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2011 ( – A new pamphlet explaining how military officials should handle various scenarios involving homosexuals has been distributed to four branches of the U.S. military, the Washington Times reported Wednesday.

A member of the U.S. Marine Corps, which has been the branch of the military most resistant to the changes in policy regarding homosexuality, gave the Times a copy of the document. It explains how officials should act in given situations now that open homosexuality is no longer an offense punishable by discharge.

“Situation: You are the Executive Officer of your unit,” states one section, according to the Times. “While shopping at the local mall over the weekend, you observe two junior male Marines in appropriate civilian attire assigned to your unit kissing and hugging in the food court.

“Issue: Standards of Conduct. Is this within standards of personal and professional conduct?”

The answer: “If the observed behavior crosses acceptable boundaries as defined in the standards of conduct for your unit and the Marine Corps, then an appropriate correction should be made. Your assessment should be made without regard to sexual orientation.”

The document offers several other guidelines for military life: military recruiters, for example, may not refuse to induct an openly homosexual applicant out of a religious objection; commanders, however, may honor a request not to share shower space with those who are openly homosexual.

And even though military chaplains will still be free to express their views on homosexuality, the document comes with a warning that following orders must trump religious belief.

“Marines are expected to obey lawful orders and could be subject to discipline or adverse administrative action if they refuse orders, even if such refusal is based on strong, sincerely held, moral or religious beliefs,” states the document, according to the Times.

President Obama signed a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule regarding homosexuality on December 22 of last year. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who has already approved the repeal, must nonetheless officially certify that the change won’t harm military readiness before the ban is officially removed.


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