3Defence conducted an internal review to ascertain the effects of this change.The Board’s 2002 report concluded that overall “the change has had notangible impact on operational effectiveness, team cohesion or Service life.”A copy of the Personnel Board’s 2002 report is attached as Appendix B.In short, the elaborate polling of troops by the British Ministry of Defence inthe mid-1990s produced utterly misleading results. This conclusion isdiscussed in a May 27, 2007
New York Times
story which stated that “Sincethe British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forcesin 2000, none of its fears -- about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullyingor an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness -- have come to passaccording to the Ministry of Defence, current and former members of theservices and academics specializing in the military.” A copy of that newsstory is attached as Appendix C.
Anonymity and Confidentiality
To ascertain the actual, candid opinions of U.S. troops, it is essential to provide a confidential, anonymous means of response to the question of gaysserving openly and honestly in the military. The reasons for this are twofold:1.
Peer-pressure must be eliminated. Since there is a well-recognizedanti-gay sentiment in parts of U.S. society, especially in maledominated organizations, peer-pressure to conform to these attitudesis strong. This is particularly true among teenagers and young adults.Only by employing a survey instrument free from the perceived needto be accepted by one’s peers (by expressing an anti-gay opinion, evenwhen this is not the individual’s true opinion on the topic) can peer- pressure be eliminated;2.
Only an anonymous, confidential survey instrument can safelymeasure gay, lesbian and bisexual troops’ opinions. The “don’t ask,don’t tell” law and military regulations implementing the law puts atrisk any service member who reveals his/her sexual orientation, evenon a survey instrument administered by the Department of Defense.
Previous Polls of U.S. Troops
Two recent, scientifically valid polls of U.S. troops have been published. In2006, Zogby International conducted a poll of “current and recent military