Tags: mattis | lgbt | troops | military | james mattis | confirmation hearing | senate

Mattis: Women, LGBT Troops Contribute to Lethality of Military

 

 

By    |   Saturday, 14 January 2017 04:47 PM

Gen. James Mattis on Thursday during his confirmation hearing for defense secretary said he "wasn’t concerned about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with," during questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Gillibrand on women and LGBT troops.

"My concern is the readiness of the force to fight and make certain it is the top of the game," he said in reply to pointed questions from Gillibrand on the topic. "When we go up against the enemy, the criteria that everything that we do in the military up to that point, when we put the young men and women across the line of departure, is they are at the most lethal stance. That is my obligation as I move into the job, and how I will look at the issue."

Gillibrand was looking for a simple "no" response from Mattis on whether he believed LGBT people undermined the military’s lethality.

But Mattis had a different answer.

"Frankly, senator, I have never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with," he told Gillibrand.

Later, when Sen. Mazie Hirono asked whether there was anything distinctive about being a woman or identifying as LGBT that would prevent someone from serving in a lethal force, Mattis point-blank said, "No."

The answer was one Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, found encouraging.

"When Gen. Mattis agreed that women and LGBT troops can contribute to the military's lethality, he was supporting the long-standing argument, backed up by a solid consensus in the research as well the experiences of foreign militaries, that inclusive policy promotes readiness,” Belkin said in a statement Thursday.

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Gen. James Mattis on Thursday during his confirmation hearing for defense secretary said he "wasn't concerned about two consulting adults and who they go to bed with," during questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Gillibrand on women and LGBT.
mattis, lgbt, troops, military, james mattis, confirmation hearing, senate
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2017-47-14
Saturday, 14 January 2017 04:47 PM
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