Republican Rebukes Pace, but Defense Secretary Defends 'Don't Ask' Policy

"I do not believe the armed forces of the U.S. are well served by saying through our policies that it is OK to be immoral in any way not just with regard to homosexuality," Pace said. "So from that standpoint, saying that gays should serve open in the military says to me that we by policy would be condoning what I believe is immoral activity and therefore as an individual I would not want that to be our policy."

"Just like I would not want it to be our policy that, 'if so and so were sleeping with someone else's wife,' that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior between members of the armed forces."

Pentagon Official Refuses to 'Judge Morality'

Pace has not commented publicly since his interview with the Tribune, which took place on Monday. He does not, however, seem to be backing away from his comments.

"Gen. Pace was asked for his personal opinion, and he provided," said Col. Katie Haddock, a spokeswoman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Asked for comment, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not say whether or not it was Defense policy that homosexual acts are immoral.

"Look, you're wanting me to judge morality," Whitman said. "I'm not going to do that."

So, what does the Pentagon think about the fact that Pace made a moral judgment on homosexual acts?

"I'm not going to comment on anyone's personal opinion," Whitman said. "Personal opinion is not what the issue is here, it's not what's important. What is important is that we have a policy that we will continue to implement that says we will continue to discharge people based on conduct and not on orientation."

More than 10,000 people have been discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy since it went into effect, but the numbers have gone down since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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