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2 U.S. Marines under investigation for Facebook threat to gay bars

By Martin Smith
2 U.S. Marines under investigation for Facebook threat to gay bars
Two California-based Marines are being investigated following the appearance of this photo on Facebook, just days after the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando by Omar Mateen. Photo courtesy of Facebook

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., June 17 (UPI) -- Two U.S. Marines in California are under investigation for allegedly making threats on social media against gay bars.

The Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said Thursday that it is looking into a photo posted to a Facebook group called Camp MENdleton Resale, which advertises itself as a private forum for 25,000 male troops and veterans.

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The photo, which has since been removed, shows a uniformed Marine corporal pointing a rifle toward the camera, with a caption reading: "Coming to a gay bar near you!"

The posting came just days after a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 people dead and dozens injured.

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According to the Marine Corps Times, which first reported on the issue, the Marine who posted the photo did so with the comment, "Too soon?"

The Marines under investigation are the corporal in the photo and the person who posted the image online.

The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force released a statement Thursday saying they do not "tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender or religion."

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"We are currently investigating a threatening social media post and will take appropriate action," the statement said. "This type of behavior and mindset will not be allowed, and it is not consistent with the core values of honor, courage and commitment that are demonstrated by the vast majority of Marines on a daily basis."

The Marine Corps is not releasing the names of either person unless they are charged.

Michael Moss, the founder of the Facebook group, told the publication that the image was deleted as soon as it was reported and the person who posted it was immediately banned from the group.

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