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Foreign Military to Advise on DADT Repeal

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Military experts and officials from foreign forces that allow openly gay troops are scheduled to convene in Washington, D.C. to discuss integrating gays and lesbians into the U.S. armed services.

The summit this spring, coordinated by the Palm Center, will include officials from NATO member militaries as well as the Israel Defense Force.

Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, notes that there are 25 foreign forces that do not ban gays from service, and they can offer lessons to the U.S. as it looks to remove its ban.

A study by the Government Accountability Office submitted to Congress in 1993 showed that the presence of out gay service members in the four countries without a gay ban at the time had "not created any problems in the functioning of military units." Last week Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that in his discussions with NATO allies and others that allow open service by gays (including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom), he found that there was "no impact" on military performance.

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