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Brownback Supports Pace's Remark on Gays

"General Pace's recent remarks do not deserve the criticism they have received," the letter said. "In fact, we applaud General Pace for maintaining a personal commitment to moral principles."

Pace said he supports "don't ask, don't tell," something Brownback said is "an appropriate policy."

Brownback, a favorite of the religious right, has been a prominent opponent of gay marriage.

Brownback spokesman Brian Hart said the senator was working Thursday to get other lawmakers to sign his letter. Hart said Brownback's office would not disclose who has signed on to the letter until there is "a final count."

On his campaign bus in Iowa on Thursday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., declined to comment when asked whether he agreed with Gen. Peter Pace's comment that homosexuality was immoral. He said he still backs the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. "It's working."

Another Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has been criticized for changing his views on gay rights to conform with conservative views, said he thought Pace's comments were "inappropriate for public discourse."

"He can believe what he wants to, that's the great thing about America _ believe in what you want. But in a governmental setting, the right way to go is to show more of an outpouring of tolerance," Romney said on CNN's "Larry King Live."

He said he didn't think the "don't ask, don't tell policy" made a lot of sense, but added he wouldn't change it now.

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© 2007 The Associated Press