Gordon Brown (Pic: Remy Steinegger)
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has honoured British LGBT soldiers and called on America to follow the UK’s lead and abolish the ban on gay military personnel.
Brown made the statement at a function at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday to celebrate LGBT History Month in the UK. Brown said that lesbian and gay soldiers in the British military “are the pride of our country and we thank you very much”.
He went on to add: “We know this debate continues in America today. I would say to people who still favour ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, ‘look at our experience in Britain.’”
The US Senate is in the midst of hearing about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban, with contrasting opinions coming to the fore from various heads of the American military.
Meanwhile, a new study on gays in militaries around the world, released this week by the Palm Center in the US, has confirmed that openly-gay soldiers do not disrupt military effectiveness over time.
It also found that successful transitions did not involve creating separate facilities or distinct rules for gay or straight soldiers.
The study looked at five of the around twenty-five countries that allow openly gay personnel to serve, including Britain, Canada, Israel, Australia, and South Africa.
The report particularly cited the success of the UK in the matter, noting that this year will mark the tenth anniversary of the lifting of the ban on LGBT people serving in the armed forces in the UK.