Report: British gay soldiers a non-issue

May 21, 2007 at 4:04 PM
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LONDON, May 21 (UPI) -- Allowing openly gay soldiers to serve in the British military has not sparked any significant incidences or animosity, military experts said.

According to experts and Ministry of Defense officials, the British military's 2000 decision to allow homosexuals to serve hasn't provoked the massive discord that many predicted would occur, The New York Times said Monday.

Several unidentified Ministry of Defense officials told the newspaper the ability of homosexual soldiers to integrate into their military units offers hope for further acceptance.

One expert said that a soldier's homosexuality is likely seen as a weakness initially due to the rough nature of the military but never to a derogatory extreme.

"The military is a proving ground and the first thing people do is find your weakness and exploit it," researcher Nathanial Frank of California's Michael D. Palm Center told the Times. "If you're gay, that's your weakness and guys will latch on to that. But frequently this is no more significant a weakness than any other based on your accent, body type, race, religion, etc."

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