Until January, 2000, when Britain lifted its gay ban following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, gay and lesbian soldiers were prohibited from serving in the British Armed Forces.
The first ten months of the new policy have been an unqualified success. The military’s own classified, internal assessment at six months found that the new policy has “been hailed as a solid achievement” (Ministry of Defense, 2000e, p. 2). There have been no indications of negative effects on recruiting levels. No mass resignations have occurred. There have been no major reported cases of gay-bashing or harassment of sexual minorities. There have been no major reported cases of harassment or inappropriate behavior by gay or lesbian soldiers. There has been no perceived effect on morale, unit cohesion or operational effectiveness. The policy change has been characterized by a “marked lack of reaction” (Ministry of Defense, 2000e, p. 2).
The above summary is from the Palm Center, which released a new study on February 23, 2010. The new study concludes:
that foreign militaries that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly achieved success by implementing an inclusive policy quickly and under decisive leadership. The principal author of the study, “Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer,” is Dr. Nathaniel Frank, Senior Research Fellow at Palm, who last year published the book, "Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America.” Also contributing to the report was top expert on the British military, Dr. Victoria Basham, as well as a retired Captain in the Canadian Forces and several social scientists who study gender, sexuality, and military personnel policy.
(Photo: June 25, 2009, Israeli soldiers march in the gay pride parade in Jerusalem. Associated Press.)