Don't ask, don't tell: How do other countries treat gay soldiers?
Don't ask, don't tell doesn't fly with NATO members, except Turkey and the US. NATO nations now allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. But 53 nations, including North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and Syria, ban homosexuals from military service.
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But upcoming mid-term elections have Democrats and Republicans worried about losing votes, even though a new CNN poll shows that 78 percent of Americans support repeal of the policy. A recent Gallop Poll shows that views have shifted generally on homosexual relations in the past decade. The percentage of Americans calling these relations "morally wrong" dropped to 43 percent, down from 55 percent n 2002.Skip to next paragraph
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Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell, who once backed the ban, came out against it in February. "Attitudes and circumstances have changed," Powell told the Washington Post. "It's been a whole generation" since the legislation was adopted, and there is increased "acceptance of gays and lesbians in society," he said. "Society is always reflected in the military. It's where we get our soldiers from."
“This 'don’t ask, don’t tell' issue, they’re going to try to jam that through without even trying to figure out what the impact on battle effectiveness would be,” Senator McCain said this week on Arizona’s KBLU radio. In February, Mr. McCain said DADT "has helped to balance a potentially disruptive tension between the desires of a minority and the broader Interests of our all volunteer force.”
Mr. Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has legally represented military personnel discharged under DADT, roundly rejects this.
“That suggestion is an insult to our service members. And in it is implied that they are not professionals,” he says, likening the current push to repeal DADT to President Harry Truman’s 1948 order to end discrimination in the military.
“The record is the record. Open service in the countries talked about does not have the dire consequences that Sen. McCain asserts.”
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