Think Tank Study: Integrate gays into military quickly
Gays in the military think-tank The Palm Center on Tuesday released a study of how foreign militaries integrated openly gay men and women into the forces – and why they all did it quickly. The study looked at militaries in more than two dozen countries that allow gays to serve openly, but focused on five: Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Israel. Study author Nathaniel Frank said no other country even came close to the 12-to-24 month period that leaders in the US say will be necessary.
Frank: “All the countries that we studied implemented their changes either immediately, in a matter of weeks – just in time to write new training manuals – Or in Britain’s case up to four months after the decision was made, but even those four months was just a lag period when it was already clear.”
The results of the study show that no other country saw a practical benefit to drawing out the process of repeal. Frank said people who are pushing for the ban to be lifted slowly and gradually are either trying to stall indefinitely – or basing it on their own uncomfortability with the issue.
Frank: “It’s possible that people of good faith genuinely feel that this needs to be gradual so that it’s not blindsiding young servicemembers, but the reality is that servicemembers are already quite used to this prospect, and it’s really the older generation that is still trying to – if they’re trying at all – to become comfortable with it.”
The Palm Center is planning a summit this Spring, where representatives of those foreign militaries can directly advise US leaders on how best to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.