(NECN: Washington) - The head of the U.S. Marine Corps weighs in on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the nation's military.
Commandant General James Conway, just back from visiting Marines in Afghanistan, says he thinks the law works just fine, and he doesn't think it should be changed.
"We recruit a certain type of young American, a pretty macho guy or gal that is willing to go fight and perhaps die for their country. That's about the only difference that I see between the other services. I mean they recruit from a great strain of young Americans as well, they all come from the same areas and that type of thing, so I can only think that as we look at our mission, how we are forced to live in close proximity aboard ship, in the field for long periods of time and that type of thing, that the average marine out there--- and by the way--- my own surveys indicate that it's not age-dependent, it's not rank-dependent, it's not where you are from, it's as you pretty uniformly not endorsed as the ideal way ahead, but I just think all those things have impact on the Marines, and we'd just as soon not see it changed. But again, we will follow the law, whatever the law prescribes."
The Pentagon has taken the first steps toward repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and said the Defense Department will start enforcing the policy "in a fairer manner".