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Study Finds Foreign Militaries Integrated Gays Smoothly

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A new study of foreign militaries says the fears of those who oppose openly gay service are unfounded.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York say none of our allies who integrated gay and lesbian soldiers into their service experienced problems with “unit cohesion.” In fact, law professor and study author Suzanne Goldberg says morale and performance improved.

Goldberg: “Not surprising when you think about it, when gay lesbian and bisexual soldiers are allowed to be who they are, they are much better able to perform, and when their fellow servicemembers aren’t living in an atmosphere where people are hiding and are living in an atmosphere when they’re expected to treat people nondiscriminatorily, everybody steps up.”

Goldberg said opponents of having out servicemembers in FOREIGN militaries also had fears about morale and about harassment. But when countries like Canada, the UK and Israel allowed openly gay service, none of those fears came to pass.

She said even if right now some soldiers DON’T want to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – they’ll feel differently once they’ve lived without it.

Goldberg: “As our allies’ militaries have said – look, it’s not that people’s attitudes must change, but their behavior must change. And what we’ve learned, and certainly plenty of academic research backs this up, when people act in a nondiscriminatory fashion, usually their attitudes come around as well.

The report found that servicemen and women responded well to educational and training programs on sexual orientation – and to officials support of gay pride and gay and lesbian affinity groups within the military.

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Written by OutQ News staff

May 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Posted in Military

Tagged with ,

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