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Thread: Comparison - Canada ends ban on gays in the military...(in 1991)

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    Question Comparison - Canada ends ban on gays in the military...(in 1991)

    Canada Ending Anti-Gay Army Rules
    By CLYDE H. FARNSWORTH,
    Published: Friday, October 11, 1991

    Responding to the pressure of court cases, the Government is about to end a policy of barring homosexuals from joining the armed forces, senior military officials say.

    The officials, who include the Defense Minister, Marcel Masse, the Chief of the Defense Staff, Gen. John de Chastelain, and the Associate Defense Minister, Mary Collins, informed members of Parliament of the impending change in recent days, parliamentary officials said.

    But the Ministry of Defense has yet to issue a formal announcement. "All of the matters haven't been finalized," Associate Defense Minister Collins told reporters today.

    Parliamentary officials said the announcement had been held up by objections from some Conservative members. One Tory backbencher from the Toronto area, Don Blenkarn, said that rules had to be introduced to make sure of "decent" behavior on ships or in military barracks.

    Nicholas Swales, a member of the staff of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense, called the policy change "inevitable."

    "Following a decision to admit women to all branches of the armed forces, except submarines, and into combat roles, it was only a matter of time before they came round to this sort of conclusion," he said

    The move was hailed as long overdue by gay advocates and human rights supporters. "It's a simple employment-equity issue," said Christine Donald, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario. "This has been a case of systemic barriers against disadvantaged groups."

    Philip MacAdam, an Ottawa lawyer and former director of the Association of Lesbians and Gays of Ottawa, said the Government should now pay compensation to "possibly hundreds" of lesbians and gays discriminated against by the military.

    Under existing Canadian military rules, homosexuals are not "knowingly" enrolled as serving members of the armed forces. In those cases where after joining the armed services people have been identified or have identified themselves as homosexuals, they cannot under these rules be forced out, though in practice they are made pariahs by being declared ineligible for training courses, promotion or re-enlistment.

    The policy has been subjected to court challenges as a violation of the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a document equivalent to the United States Bill of Rights that is part of the Canadian Constitution and that guarantees equal benefit and equal protection under the law.

    The impending decision on the military sets Canada apart from the United States and several other leading nations.

    According to a Pentagon policy statement, "homosexuality is incompatible with military service." Defense Secretary Dick Cheney reaffirmed the policy after the Supreme Court in February left standing an appeals court ruling upholding the prohibition on the ground that rights of free speech and equal protection under the law were not violated.

    Britain also excludes homosexuals from its armed forces, although a parliamentary committee last spring said the policy should change because the services had lost "some men and women of undoubted competence and good character."

    The Soviet Union's criminal code, which applies to members of the military as well as civilians, provides that sexual relations of a man with another man "shall be punished by deprivation of freedom for a term not exceeding five years."

    Yet several other countries have already moved in the direction of Canada. France has no law barring homosexuals from military service. Homosexuality is not a reason for exclusion in Japan, although it may be used as grounds for discharge or other punishment if a soldier is impaired or fails to "maintain the military's dignity."

    Canada Ending Anti-Gay Army Rules - The New York Times
    Also, goddammit.. CHENEY? wasn't that guy EVER young?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Don't think so about Cheney. He was 34 when he was Ford's Chief of Staff, and then 37 when he had his first heart attack.

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