Obama to Military Brass: Agree With Me on Gay Policy or Get Out

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 01:42 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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President Barack Obama told the nation's military leaders to either back his efforts to end their controversial "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy or resign, BuzzFeed reported.

In a video obtained by the news website, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp says Obama refused to compromise with the nation's five service leaders during a meeting in 2010.

"We were called into the Oval Office and President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, 'This is what I want to do,"' Papp says on the video.

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"I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that’s private communications within the Oval Office, but if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things."

Papp's remarks came during a meeting with U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets, when he was asked how officers should deal with policies they disagree with, but must abide by.

"If I disagree morally with [a policy], it’s my obligation to voice that, regardless of the risk it might give my career'' Papp says on the video.

"I’ve been in those situations. I’ve been fortunate to have good leaders that have appreciated that."

Papp also said he believed abolishing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was a proper decision.

BuzzFeed acquired the video through a Freedom of Information request.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" — an official U.S. policy adopted by the Clinton administration in 1994 — prohibited gays and bisexuals from disclosing their sexual orientation while serving in the military.

The policy also banned those who demonstrated a "propensity or intent" to engage in gay behavior from serving, because it would "create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability"

The policy was ended in 2011.

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