DADT: Why wait?

Tom Ashbrook of NPR’s On Point interviewed Nathaniel Frank of UC Santa Barbara’s Palm Center today about his study of the 25 nations with gay service members serving successfully.

Frank is the lead author of the research report, “Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer” (pdf), which concludes that integrating gay soldiers into the military can be done without disruption and much more quickly than the Pentagon is planning. Countries in the study include Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, Norway, South Africa and Sweden.

Elizabeth Bumiller’s NY Times Feb. 21 report on the study is here. In it, she writes:

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. Mr. Frank said the study did not look at what happened if the change was implemented gradually because, he said, “I don’t think any of the militaries tried it.”

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