'Marines Will Die From This'
President Donald Trump's chief of staff John Kelly was a U.S. Marine Corps general before joining the Trump administration as head of Homeland Security.Â
But a New York Times Magazine profile of the former general paints a picture of a man very much opposed to change â€“ including in the Marines, which he first joined in 1970 and retired from in 2016.
Among the changes he opposed were the acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving openly. Kelly once said open service would be lethal to other Marines.
"Under Obama, Kelly â€” a typically conservative Marine, friends say â€” was nominally tasked with steering the country toward policies he often abhorred," The Times reports. "After officials pushed the repeal of 'donâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tell,' Kelly seethed. 'Marines will die from this,' he told colleagues at the Pentagon."
In the more than six years since DADT wasÂ repealed, none have died as a result.
The Trump White House reportedly disputes the claim.
StudiesÂ before repeal had already proved allowing openly gay serviceÂ membersÂ would not be detrimental to the U.S. military, and in fact would strengthen it, given the number of gay troops already serving under "don't ask, don't tell." Exactly none of the claims by hate groups like the Family Research Council and othersÂ against repealing "don't ask, don't tell" came true. Not one.
And in fact, a study one year after DADT was repealed found that a total of two service members quit as a result.