With the Pentagon still studying whether America, supposedly the planet’s greatest nation, can handle the stress headache of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the Senate refusing to enable even the most compromised scenarios of a repeal, many smart homosexuals think the chances of getting gays serve openly just plummeted. But have no fear: America is seeking advice on repealing DADT from one of our greatest allies: the British! What keen wisdom might they have to offer?
For one, just get it over with. In 2000 under then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, the British legislatively repealed its version of DADT. Some seven years later, gay soldiers had yet to upend the country’s national security. Is that what personnel there are telling Americans?
But while deliberation in American political circles continues, the British Army’s diversity unit confirmed it had been advising its military counterparts across the Atlantic on integrating such an equality policy and sharing the successes of the repeal in the UK. Colonel Mark Abraham told PM that fears surrounding the removal of the exclusion policy had been unfounded, and the overnight lifting of the ban in January 2000 had resulted in “no notable change at all”.
“We got to the point where the policy was incompatible with military service and there was a lack of logic and evidence to support it,” explained Abraham, head of employment, equality and diversity for the British Army. We knew a lot of gay and lesbian people were serving quite successfully, and it was clear that sexual orientation wasn’t an indication of how good a soldier or officer you could be.” He continued: “The reality was that those serving in the army were the same people the day after we lifted the ban, so there was no notable change at all. Everybody carried on with their duties and had the same working relationships as they previously had while the ban was in place.”
Of course critics will point out that the British have a different way of doing things. For instance, they found the sitcom Coupling amusing.
[pictured: Gay British soldiers Ben Rakestrow, now 22, who was profiled last year to share his “remarkable” story that his comrades did not harass, demean, nor rape him.]