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Europe Leading The Way Over Gays In Military

May 21, 2007

The fight over allowing gay men and women to openly serve in the U.S. military is really a non-issue when thought about in a rational manner.  It is when conservative politicians need red meat for a campaign, or a thick-necked soldier with more muscle than education spews bigotry, does the public get to see the emptiness of the argument to prevent gay people from serving in the military. It has baffled me for years how some of these military folks who could never make it through college, but found a home in the military, can be allowed to shape national policy based on their bigotry.  Utterly baffling!

Now I must admit up front I think any parent who counsels their child, gay or straight, to join the military today is doing their child a huge disservice given what the neo-conservatives are doing around the globe.  But putting that aside for a moment, it was interesting to read today that Britain is not finding any problems with allowing gay men and women to serve in the military. From The New York Times.

Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears — about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness — have come to pass, according to the Ministry of Defense, current and former members of the services and academics specializing in the military. The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue.

At least 24 countries — many of them allies of the United States, and some of them members of the coalition forces fighting alongside Americans — now allow gay soldiers to serve openly in their armed forces.

Some Britons said they could not understand why the United States had not changed its policy.

“I find it strange, coming from the land of the free and freedom of speech and democracy, given the changes in the world attitude,” said the gay squadron leader, who recently returned from Afghanistan. “It’s just not the issue it used to be.”

Until its policy changed, the British military had deep misgivings about allowing homosexuals to serve openly in its armed forces. But it had no choice. It was forced to by a European court, which ruled that its policy of excluding homosexuals violated the European Convention on Human Rights.

“There was a lot of apprehension among some senior personnel that there would be an increase in things like bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation, and some of them were almost predicting that the world was going to come to an end,” the Defense Ministry official said.

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One Comment
  1. May 22, 2007 12:34 PM

    The don’t ask don’t tell policy that clinton implemented was one of his many dumb moves while in office. The policy of the military that does not allow gays to serve is just as ignorant.

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