Serving Openly, Here And Abroad

Steve Chapman looks at other countries that have allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military:

In Canada, 45 percent of service members said they would not work with gay colleagues, and a majority of British soldiers and sailors rejected the idea. There were warnings that hordes of military personnel would quit and promising youngsters would refuse to enlist.

But when the new day arrived, it turned out to be a big, fat non-event.

The Canadian government reported "no effect." The British government observed "a marked lack of reaction." An Australian veterans group that opposed admitting gays later admitted that the services "have not had a lot of difficulty in this area."

Israel, being small, surrounded by hostile powers, and obsessed with security, can't afford to jeopardize its military strength for the sake of prissy ventures in political correctness. But its military not only accepts gays, it provides benefits to their same-sex partners, as it does with spouses. Has that policy sapped Israel's military might? Its enemies don't seem eager to test the proposition.

Ilya Somin adds:

To my mind, opponents of allowing gays to serve openly in the military need to show that the ill effects they predict have actually occurred in these other countries. If they can’t, they should support the idea of allowing the armed forces to choose the best available recruits regardless of sexual orientation.