Israel began allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military in 1993, the same year that President Bill Clinton signed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law. And though DADT will finally get repealed on September 20th, a recent study of the Isreali Defense Force suggests that anti-gay animus won’t disappear along with it.
Think Progress summarized the study’s key findings:
– 40 percent of soldiers were verbally abused due to their sexual orientation.
– 20 percent claimed to have been physically or sexually assaulted due to their sexual orientation.
– 49 percent of soldiers who hear homophobic comments in military bases ignore them and do not respond.
– 37 percent participate and join in making fun of the gay soldier.
– Only 13 percent reprimand soldiers who are making fun of a gay soldier.
So while Americans soldiers can’t discharge or refuse to work with LGB service members, they can certainly make their lives a living hell just for their sexual orientation.
Maybe the government can use the more than 363 million dollars they spent training and discharging queer soldiers to study homophobia once the repeal goes into effect.