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Don't ask, don't tell: How do other countries treat gay soldiers?

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US allies allow homosexuals to serve

Already, US service members serve alongside gays and lesbians. The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, has estimated that some 66,000 gay and lesbian troops serve (pdf download) in the US forces today. And Britain, a key ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, has allowed homosexuals to openly serve in its military for a decade.

Canada and Australia lifted their bans in 1992, followed by Israel in 1993, and South Africa in 1998. The lift on bans did not result in a mass “coming out,” the Palm Center found, nor were there instances of increased harassment of or by gay people.

When Britain looked to repeal its ban, its military initially considered DADT. But they found it was a “disaster,” which “hadn’t worked,” was “unworkable” and was “hypocritical,” according to the Palm Center’s report, "Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer."

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