Top US Marine rejects Obama plan to repeal gay ban
The head of the US Marines said on Thursday he opposed ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military, the first top officer to break openly with President Barack Obama over the issue.
General James Conway told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he disagreed with Obama's plan to repeal the ban.
"My best military advice to this committee, to the (defense) secretary, and to the president would be to keep the law such as it is."
Conway said the current policy worked and any bid to lift the ban should answer the question: "do we somehow enhance the war fighting capabilities of the United States Marine Corps by allowing homosexuals to openly serve?"
Conway's public rejection of his commander-in-chief's stance is sure to fuel debate in Congress on the issue and reflects apprehension among some senior military officers about changing the 1993 law.
The chiefs of the US Army and Air Force also expressed doubts about lifting the ban at congressional hearings this week, saying they were concerned about putting the military under further strain in the midst of two wars.