Gays in the Military a Nonissue, Say Officers from England, Canada, Australia, Israel, and The Netherlands

Concerns "in the late '90s of gay men walking across the gangplank in feather boas and high heels" once gays were allowed to serve openly in the British military did not pan out, said  retired Lt. Cmdr. Craig Jones of the British Royal Navy to representatives of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Israel and the Netherlands at the Brookings Institute on Wednesday, CNN reports.

Jones The representatives came together to describe the experiences of their countries in allowing gays to serve openly.

Maj. Gen. Walter Semianiw of Canada and Col. Kees Matthijssen of the Royal Dutch Army said there were no problems either.

There are benefits, in fact, according to the reps:

"Jones said British military officials saw an unexpected benefit of allowing gays to serve openly – better retention of qualified soldiers and sailors in key positions. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the British military had a 6 percent to 8 percent gap in unfilled positions. Now it's down to the 2 percent to 3 percent range.
Jones said one reason for that is the new policy allowing gays to serve.
Now that gays are able to serve, military recruiters in the United Kingdom have more volunteers to choose from, Jones said. Also, having children is often cited by British troops as one reason why they leave the military in their late 20s or 30s. And Jones said because gays and lesbians are less likely to become parents, they tend to stay in the military longer."

For allies, integrating gays in military easier done than said [cnn]


  1. Derek says

    One of my closest friends is in the Canadian Military, and is openly gay. Everyone he works with knows and it’s not an issue at all.

  2. says

    Why is this news ? the European armies have had non-discrimination for years.
    The americans should have done some research into other countries before sitting down to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party of “Don’t Ask Don’t Yell”.

  3. LetSodomRing says

    Even I’m skeptical as to any claims the Dutch may make about recent military developments. Those cloggers haven’t won a war since the dark ages. They should stick to winding their windmills instead of trying to give the US military advice.

  4. Gridlock says

    The US military could USE some advice so it can drag itself out of the christian fundamentalist dark ages

  5. walter says

    don’t worry the obama administration lead by gates needs time to study something our allies have had for years. gates is a holdover of the bush administration and needs to join his former boss on unemployment quickly.the president does not support gay rights only as to an end.

  6. jomicur says

    Isn’t it nice to know there are countries where public policy is not rooted in the sacred book of Bronze Age nomads? Where “God” is NOT “in the mix”?

  7. Disgusted American says

    well come election 2012….unless there is a REAL viable candidate for the Dems…I’ll HOLD MY NOSE and Vote for Obama again, the difference this time will be…I will NOT contribute $200 like I did last time, nor do “leg wrk” and wrk for his election like I did last time….what a disappointment!

  8. says

    If you vote for Obama in ’12, you have no right to complain. He is counting on sheep like you to keep voting for those that hate you. That’s why he doesn’t feel the need to keep his promises.

  9. Nick says

    BO doesn’t deserve the support of the LGBT community. His fierce advocacy is killing us-literally.
    The European armies as well as even Israel-aren’t rooted in the religious dogma the US military allows to permeate its ranks, not to mention the fact that puritannical views don’t sway the decision making in Europe.

  10. Steve says

    Great to see this!

    As for the arguments for “military readiness” – if the Israeli army allows openly gay individuals to serve, who are we to argue? Israel has one of the most “military ready” armies in the world.

  11. EvilEuropean says

    ARGGHH!!!! Its not ENGLAND its the UK! THere is no English Army, Navy or Airforce….by saying England, you leave out the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish who also happen to serve in the UKs armed forces, some of which are also gay.

  12. Strepsi says

    Every time some asshole says that gay equality in the military is a “Crazy Experiment” (and some assholes saying this are even in the Administration) they should be called on this lie.

    The experiment has been run! Objective results are in! Civilized countries have had gay equality in the miltary for DECADES now, and at least here in Canada not a single. reported. negative. issue.

    Hey Gates, what the f*** are you “studying”?

  13. walter says

    if you have to hold your nose to vote for obama maybe it would be better not to vote. if we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils we will never get progress maybe a real boycott of the election will show dems that we will be taken for granted maybe some loses by the dems will wake them up. and before you all scream that would give the repuks what rather the enemy who attacks than the friend who neglects

  14. Disgusted American says

    Gaylib..I understand what your saying ,and your reasoning…BUT, I would NOT want a GOP president…otherwise – we’re ALL screwed royally…with BO we’re screwed with lube, with the GOP we’re screwed minus the Lube!

  15. ty says

    @ letsodomring, your comment reads like a mouth fart. @ gaylib, who do you suggest we vote for? @gridlock, you are right, we are using a very old, violent book to inspire and justify our “creativity”

  16. Rann says

    Obama still has a little over two years to accomplish something before I decide who to vote for in the 2012 electioon. No need to decide now. But if the election were now there is no way in hell I would vote for him.
    I would not vote for a Repbublican either so not sure who else might be on the ticket. We will see But as for Obama, he is a huge disappointment. Yes, better than McCain would have been but not by much.

    DADT must be repealed this year or it will be a long wait nad he knows it. He should be leading on all of the issues as he said he would but I feel he is a liar and all we can do is hope for change.

  17. says

    This whole DADT thing and the ENDA thing is further proof the US is ALWAYS amongst the very last Western countries to EVER employ social change.

    And lest you be mislead, don’t be mistaken. It’s not about a study, it’s about politics. I know I’ve been beating this drum loudly over the past few days but if the repeal of DADT and the employment of ENDA would guarantee their jobs in 2010 and 2012, there would be no discussion whatsoever. It would be a done deal. But because politicians nowadays are afraid to do ANYTHING that might cost them their jobs in the next election cycle, things have to be “studied” to the nth degree. I really wish their motives weren’t so transparent, but sadly it’s become that way.

    And as far as Obama in 2012 goes, if there is a viable (and by viable I mean someone who has a REALLY GOOD SHOT at winning and not someone like Ralph Nader or Ron Paul who will just take votes away from the Democrats and give the Presidency to a Republican) candidate outside of the two big parties, that person is going to get my vote.