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NYT Study: Gay Soldiers Don’t Cause Disruption

Interesting reading from New York Times and very timely.

Some snippets:

A comprehensive new study on foreign militaries that have made transitions to allowing openly gay service members concludes that a speedy implementation of the change is not disruptive.

The finding is in direct opposition to the stated views of Pentagon leaders, who say repealing a ban on openly gay men and women in the United States armed forces should take a year or more.

The study, “Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer,” is to be released Tuesday by the Palm Center, a research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Palm Center has no official position on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the American law that bans openly gay service members, but the group has become a leading force among advocates for repeal.

The 151 page study looks at the integration of gay service members in Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa and other countries.

The report concludes that in foreign militaries, openly gay service members did not undermine morale, cause large resignations or mass “comings out.” The report found that “there were no instances of increased harassment” as a result of lifting bans in any of the countries studied.

In addition, the report says that none of the countries studied installed separate facilities for gay troops, and that benefits for gay partners were generally in accordance with a country’s existing benefits for gay and lesbian couples.

On implementation, the study said that most countries made the change swiftly, within a matter of months and with what it termed little disruption to the armed services.

One wonders, in light of this evidence, how people opposed to the repeal will spin the report’s findings.

*Related DADT hearings this week: military’s top uniformed officers share their views

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