SAN FRANCISCO — The premier advocacy organization for gay infantry Marines released a statement today condemning the Marine Corps' plan to open up the Infantry Officers Course to female volunteers.
The San Francisco-based group Semper Pink called the plan "an affront to the traditional Spartan values which we cherish as Marines." The group also said that female grunts "will damage the closeness, intimacy, and brotherhood that comes with infantry life."
In mid-April the Marine Corps announced plans to open up an indeterminate number of slots at its Infantry Officers Course in Quantico to female volunteers. In addition, the Marine Corps is developing physical fitness tests to establish gender-neutral standards for grunts.
Previously, women were only allowed to serve in non-combat roles.
Semper Pink spokesman Sgt. James Wagner, wearing a shirt that said "I keep my unit out of women, so keep women out of my unit," said that allowing women into the infantry would force gay Marines to deal with lifestyle choices which they disagreed with.
"Plus, we didn't join up to look at some nasty poon-tang!" he emphasized.
Sergeant Wagner also said that female infantry would be disruptive to unit cohesion.
"Suppose I happen to be out in town, and I see a male and a female Marine from my fireteam kissing," he says. "Now any time we're in combat I'll have to wonder if he's thinking of cradling me in his arms as I tell him that I love him with my last dying breath, or her skank ass."
Reactions among other gay active-duty Marines were equally negative.
"There is no way to describe how offended I am," said Staff Sgt. Tim Miller, a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego who previously served as a TOW Gunner with 3rd Battalion 5th Marines.
"After almost twenty years of protesting and marching, we finally get access to the greatest sausage fest on the planet, and within six months the Marine Corps totally screws it up."
Lance Cpl. Evan Smith, a Rifleman with 3rd Battalion 1st Marines, believed that female grunts would detract from the Marine infantry experience.
"We had a car wash last week, and I was super pumped to show all the guys the new 'Balls of the Corps' tattoo I got on my chest. But they spent all their time staring at this female Staff Sergeant who's training with us."
"If you ask me, females just can't do the same work as males," he added. "It's basically a question of PT."
1st Lieutenant Nate Wallis, the first openly-gay platoon commander in the 1st Marine Division, was more circumspect.
"The Marine Corps is all about tradition," said Wallis, "so change doesn't come naturally to a lot of people. However, while the infantry has been gay ever since the Spartans, I think it's time we step out smartly and into the Twenty-First Century."
"Still, someday I'll tell my kids how good we had it in the Old Corps," he mused.