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August 16, 2009

New, larger role for women in combat also undermines military myths about gays, activists say

Women are more frequently engaged in combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan and the military has adapted out of necessity, reports the New York Times.  The story also notes:

The successful experiences of military women in Iraq and Afghanistan are being used to bolster the efforts of groups who favor letting gay soldiers serve openly. Those opposed to such change say that permitting service members to state their sexual orientation would disrupt the tight cohesion of a unit and lead to harassment and sexual liaisons — arguments also used against allowing women to serve alongside men. But women in Iraq and Afghanistan have debunked many of those fears.

“They made it work with women, which is more complicated in some ways, with sex-segregated facilities and new physical training standards,” said David Stacy, a lobbyist with the Human Rights Campaign, which works for gay equality. “If the military could make that work with good discipline and order, certainly integrating open service of gay and lesbians is within their capability.”

-SS

August 16, 2009 | Permalink

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