WASHINGTON -- In 1993, the head of the U.S. Marine Corps -- known for his outspoken opposition to allowing gays to serve in the military -- told President Bill Clinton that coming out as gay was the same as coming out as a member of the KKK, a Nazi or a rapist, according to notes released on Friday.
In a meeting of Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and other White House officials shortly after Clinton took office, Gen. Carl E. Mundy Jr. expressed his opposition to allowing gays to serve in the military in pretty stark terms.
See the note below:
The note reads:
Need to proclaim: I'm gay --
same as -- I'm KKK,
"I commit act" Amer. doesn't accept
The Clinton administration, of course, would soon implement the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which banned openly gay individuals from serving in the military until it was repealed in 2010.
The document was one of almost 10,000 pages of records from Clinton's time in the White House that were released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on Friday, the last in a series of document dumps that comes as Hillary Clinton is laying the groundwork for a potential 2016 presidential campaign.
Later notes indicate that "VP" -- Vice President Al Gore -- thought Mundy was "borderline" in his presentation but that "PC" --- President Clinton -- thought the meeting with military officials went well.
Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is now retired, also pops up in the notes, where he expressed his opposition to allowing gays to serve, a position he would reverse in 2010. The notes also indicate that Gore questioned Powell on whether he believed being gay was a choice, and Powell said he didn't know but that it didn't really matter to his argument. Gore reportedly replied that it made a big difference to him and that he believed the majority of gays were born with a predisposition.