Argentina to repeal ban on gays in military

Troy Espera | September 01, 2006

BUENOS AIRES — The government of Argentina announced that it plans to repeal its ban on gay military personnel, according to recent news reports, making it the second country in South America, following Colombia, to prohibit discrimination in its armed forces.

Argentina's government plans to modernize its code of military justice which, among other changes, will no longer prohibit same-sex relationships among personnel in its armed forces.

"The ban was nonsense," said Colonel Judge Advocate Manual Lozano, in a media statement issued by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network on Thursday. "It's a matter of people's private lives."

According to C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Argentina�s move toward nondiscrimination makes the United States increasingly isolated in its prohibition on gays in the military.

"From Israel to South Africa to Argentina, countries are recognizing that banning qualified service members only hurts their readiness,� said Osburn in a media statement.

�Eva Peron once observed that 'shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun.' Today, in her country, gay patriots are emerging from the shadows and being recognized for their dedication and service," Osburn�s statement continued.

Argentina joins a growing list of at least 25 nations that no longer exclude openly gay service personnel. American military allies, including Great Britain, Canada and Australia, have lifted their bans on open service.

Membership in the European Union requires nations to abolish any prohibitions on service by gays. Openly gay personnel from allied nations are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, alongside American troops. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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