Frontlines: The Latest from OutServe-SLDN

Columbia Law School Report Gives Green Light to Open Service

The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic just released a report showing that the transition to open service for gay and lesbian troops has been a successful one in countries the U.S. counts among its closest allies.

The report (“Open Service and Our Allies”), submitted to Congress today, extensively documents the experiences of militaries in Australia, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom. And the findings confirm what supporters of DADT repeal have long understood: Lifting the ban on open service has no adverse effect on military readiness or unit cohesion. In fact, the report found that ending discrimination against gay and lesbian service members makes the armed forces stronger:

“Open Service and Our Allies debunks many myths about the difficulty of transitioning to open service. The report reinforces that ending the military’s exclusion of openly gay service members is not only possible but also beneficial to national security,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, Professor and Director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic.

Based on its observations of what has worked in other militaries, the report also provides four key recommendations on how the U.S. armed forces can implement a smooth transition for full integration of gay and lesbian service members:

Educational and training programs that include sexual orientation;
Strong anti-discrimination policies that provide a clear procedure for handling grievances;
Sexual harassment policies that apply equally to all service members and focus on the inappropriate act rather than the identity of the offender; and
Military support of gay pride activities and gay and lesbian affinity groups within the military.

“Open Service and Our Allies” demonstrates that the move to open service is not only doable but will make our military even more effective on and off the battlefield.

Now let’s get repeal done in 2010.

By Paul DeMiglio, Senior Communications Manager |

1 Comments

Comments for this entry are closed.

Dino in Washington, DC on May 13, 2010 at 04.44 pm

Great!!! I realise that the report demonstrates something that is more than and clearly obvious to all of us and we certainly can all be forgiven for being up to our ears and exasperated with studies that always demonstrate what we already know.  However, with all the ignorance out there and all the misinformation that opponents of DADT repeal are spreading, there can’t be enough pieces of ammunition to demonsrate that DADT needs to be repealed and now.  On Wednesday, May 19th there will be an all day seminar from 9:30am to 4:00pm conducted at the Brookings Institution located at the Falk Auditorium, 1775 Mass. Ave, NW, Washington, DC titled Lessons Learned from the ‘Service of Gays and Lesbians in Alled Militaries’.  For more information, and/or if you would like to attend go to http://www.brookings.edu and click ‘events’ on their homepage.