July 22, 2009

US' "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Lags Far Behind Other Nations

I ran across this AP story comparing the much more favorable treatment of soldiers in other nations like Great Britian, Austraila, and Israel compared to the United States.

Wait a minute--Isreal?! That doesn't sound right.

Yep, Isreal. Read this excerpt:

A nation in a constant state of combat readiness, Israel has had no restrictions on military service by gays since 1993 — a policy now considered thoroughly uncontroversial.

Gays were permitted to serve even before then, but not in certain intelligence positions where, at the time, they were deemed possible security risks vulnerable to blackmail. Now, gays and lesbians — among them several senior officers — serve in all branches of the military, including combat duty.

"In this regard, Israel has one of the most liberal armies in the world," said Yagil Levy, a sociologist from the Open University of Israel.

The army recognizes the partners of gay officers as their bereaved next-of-kin after their deaths, eligible for benefits. Gay officers at promotions and other ceremonies often have their partners by their sides.

The military also provided the backdrop for Israel's precursor to "Brokeback Mountain" — the 2002 movie "Yossi & Jagger" about two Israeli combat soldiers who fall in love on the front lines. It was a hit with critics and the public, and was even screened on military bases.

Click here to read about how GLBT soldiers are treated in other nations to gain a greater appreciation of how ignorant the Uunted States' current policy is.

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