Pentagon Working Group Report Confirms No Major Impediments to Open Service
“Most comprehensive review … ever undertaken” shows end to military’s gay ban comes with few hurdles to implementation.
WASHINGTON– The Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group studying how to implement repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has found few hurdles to implementation of open service by gays and lesbians, according to their report released today. The news provides tremendous momentum for upcoming Senate action on repeal, said the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
“This issue has been studied for fifty years, including by the military itself, and the results from over twenty-two studies are uniform: open service does not harm effectiveness,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The small handful of Senators blocking repeal no longer have any fig leaves behind which to hide. The time for repeal is now.”
A survey of troops – while not a referendum on repeal but rather a tool to gauge attitudes about repeal – showed that seventy percent of service members thought having an openly gay or lesbian colleague in their unit would have either a positive, mixed or no effect. For those who believe they have already worked with a gay or lesbian service member, ninety-two percent say their unit’s ability to work together was very good, good or neither good nor poor.
“America’s men and women in uniform are professionals who already serve with gays and lesbians and repeal will do nothing to change their dedication to protecting our nation,” said Solmonese. “Senators who said they want to hear from military leaders and troops now have their answers. Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will allow every qualified man and woman to serve without sacrificing the high standards that have made our military great.”
Twenty-five nations allow open service by gays and lesbians and all of them have implemented repeal of their bans without major disruptions – including close allies such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Israel. Further, a failure of Congress to act now will tie the hands of military leaders who have asked for the power to implement the changes that today’s report lays out.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.