Representatives from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Israel and the Netherlands gathered Wednesday at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, to describe how the militaries in those countries handled allowing homosexuals to serve openly. The consensus was that, in spite of concerns before the change, it became a nonissue once gays and lesbians were allowed to serve.
“I did not see one case at any level when homosexuals did not get along with other soldiers. The problems are among men and women,” said Maj. Gen. Walter Semianiw, an infantry officer in the Canadian military. “This is not an issue for our country.”
“We know the U.S. as a country that favors the individual rights, freedom, giving the people the opportunity to flourish in their life,” said Col. Kees Matthijssen of the Royal Dutch Army. “From that perspective it’s still very strange the U.S. is still having a kind of ban on openly having gays and lesbians in the military.”