Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don’t ask, don’t tell Don’t discriminate

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay: twenty-five countries that allow gay men and women to serve openly in their militaries.

The source for this list: Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer (Palm Center, University of California, Santa Barbara). Among the conclusions in this primer (a PDF download):

Research has uniformly shown that transitions to policies of equal treatment without regard to sexual orientation have been highly successful and have had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness. No consulted expert anywhere in the world concluded that lifting the ban on openly gay service caused an overall decline in the military. . . .

Evidence suggests that lifting bans on openly gay service contributed to improving the command climate in foreign militaries, including increased focus on behavior and mission rather than identity and difference, greater respect for rules and policies that reflect the modern military, a decrease in harassment, retention of critical personnel, and enhanced respect for privacy.
For any reader wondering about context:

Move to End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Stalls in Senate (New York Times)

comments: 2

normann said...

"How dare these uppity queers try to infiltrate God's own military! Why, if gay men serve in uniform, how are we supposed to tell them apart from the normal folks? Why don't they stick to being caterers, florists and librarians? At least then we can be sure of who they are."
It's not the nelly queens they're afraid of.

Other Elaine said...

It's all very sad. When some of this craziness got underway--I think as far back as the Sixties--my career-military father commented, "Why is everyone so excited about folks coming out of the military closet?" His take was, "So what else is new?" Now it seems we have achieved the proverbial toothpaste-back-into-the tube situation.