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Brief History of Gays in the Military
Sexual orientation and gender identity in military service - Wikipedia
LGB service by country. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer LGBTQ personnel are able to serve in the armed forces of some countries around the world: the vast majority of industrialized, Western countries, including some Latin American countries such as Brazil and Chile ,   in addition to South Africa , and Israel. This keeps pace with the latest global figures on acceptance of homosexuality, which suggest that acceptance of LGBTQ communities is becoming more widespread only in secular, affluent countries. However, an accepting policy toward gay and lesbian soldiers does not invariably guarantee that LGBTQ citizens are immune to discrimination in that particular society. Even in countries where LGBTQ persons are free to serve in the military, activists lament that there remains room for improvement. Israel , for example, a country that otherwise struggles to implement LGBTQ-positive social policy, nevertheless has a military well known for its broad acceptance of openly gay soldiers.
A Gay Soldier's Story
Under the new policy, gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans could serve their country, as long as they kept their sexual identity under wraps. Meanwhile, the military continued to discharge thousands of gays and lesbians from service. Though the U. In the aftermath of World War I , the military made the act of sodomy a crime subject to punishment by a court-martial.
Policing the legality and normalcy of service members' sexual lives was a contentious process for military courts throughout the s, s, and early s that resulted in the inconsistent enforcement of the homosexual exclusion policy. Military personnel of all ranks and occupations harbored a variety of attitudes and beliefs about homosexuality that challenged the legitimacy and uniformity of the military's legal assault on sexual deviance. Over half of the active duty personnel originally accused of homosexual tendencies received either sentence reductions or sentence reversals as a result of this highly contested process by which official military policy was translated into practice via courts-martial. Paradoxically, the very policies that discriminated against alleged homosexual service members generated legal avenues through which gays and lesbians exercised their rights to due process, and, ultimately, their rights as American citizens embodied in the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.