Interview: Marines sound off on DADT repeal

“They won’t hold up well in combat,” he said.

That view, or variations on it, was expressed repeatedly in interviews with Marines around this town, home to Camp Lejeune, and outside Camp Pendleton in Southern California on Sunday.

Most of the approximately two dozen Marines interviewed said they personally did not object to gay men or lesbians serving openly in the military. But many said that introducing the possibility of sexual tension into combat forces would be disruptive, an argument made by the commandant of the Marine Corps a week before the historic repeal was passed by the Senate on Saturday and sent to President Obama for his signature…

Several combat commanders, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had not been authorized to speak publicly on the issue, expressed concerns. An Army platoon sergeant who recently led front-line soldiers in Afghanistan, and who supported the ban’s repeal, said he envisioned a difficult transition period during which harassment of openly gay troops would be common.

“They were kicking people out for being homosexual, and now they will be kicking people out for picking on homosexuals,” the sergeant said.