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Fifty years of Pentagon studies and reports have been unable to uncover a legitimate justification for the military's ban on gay soldiers (and in the last 16 years, openly gay soldiers), writes Col. Om Prakash in the latest edition of Joint Force Quarterly.
According to the article, which was picked up in The Atlantic, the Department of Defense has conducted studies on gay military personnel as far back as 1957, when a Navy report found that the presence of gay sailors posed no increased threat to unit cohesion. Policy didn't change because, seemingly, the military was afraid of making steps that weren't in line with public opinion of the time. From the report: "The service should not move ahead of civilian society nor attempt to set substantially different standards in attitude or action with respect to homosexual offenders."
A study conducted over 30 years later also found that gays did not represent a threat to the armed forces, but again no adjustments were made to military policy until 1993, when "don't ask, don't tell" was enacted.
Prakash writes that current defenses of the military's ban on openly gay soldiers is emotionally charged, has no legitimate reasoning, and is representative of current ideology of senior military leadership.
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