Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway: If 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Repealed, We'll Follow Law

Conway thinks some of the reservations from some Marines about housing arrangements comes from those who are very religious and "say that homosexuality is wrong, and they simply do not want to room with a person of that persuasion because it would go against their religious beliefs."

What other arrangements might be needed?

" Well, I think, as a commander, you try to satisfy the requirements of all your Marines. And if the law changes and we have homosexual Marines, we'll be as concerned about their rights, their privileges, their morale, as we will Marines who feel differently about that whole paradigm." He added that local commanders will be required "to assist us in making sure that every Marine is provided for and is focused on the fight at hand."

The Defense Department is in the midst of carrying out a department-wide survey of members of the services and their families about how implantation would occur. An initial survey sent to 400,000 servicemembers last month resulted in a 28 percent response rate. An additional survey was sent out to 150,000 military family members last week.

Both Houses of Congress have worked on legislation to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law. The House of Representatives has passed the full Defense Authorization Bill that included an amendment to repeal the ban. The full Senate has yet to vote to include a similar amendment in its version of the bill. A compromise reached in May would delay implementation of a repeal until after the Defense Department concludes its surveys and the White House certifies an implementation plan.

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