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SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND MILITARY PREPAREDNESS
An International Perspective

Conference, Georgetown University Law Center
12th Floor, Gewirz Building, 120 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
6 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. - 12 March 2008

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean, the International Law Society,the Military Law Society, and Outlaw

PANEL

Descriptions are for identification only. The panelistsí views are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of their organizations or governments.

Moderator: Thomas F. ("Tom") Field, Colonel, United States Army (Retired);
currently Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center.

Australia: Chief Petty Officer Stuart O'Brien, Directorate of Navy Personnel Research, Canberra

Canada: Michelle Douglas, Director, International Relations Group, Department of Justice, Ottawa

Great Britain: Lieutenant Commander Patrick Lyster-Todd, Royal Navy (Retired)

Israel: Avner Even-Zohar, Captain, Israel Defense Forces (1987-1993);
currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Hebrew Studies, Monterey, California USA

Critique: Opposition speaker. (Invited)

Reception Afterward

Please send RSVPs to: Military.Preparedness.Conference@gmail.com

AGENDA FOCUS QUESTIONS

I. THE EFFECTS OF OPEN SERVICE ON MILITARY PREPAREDNESS

1. Briefly, when, how, and why did your country move to permit open military service by gay and lesbian individuals?

2. What do you see as the positive and negative consequences of that decision? To the extent possible, please provide examples.

3. Fears are sometimes expressed that open service by gay and lesbian individuals might (a) cause other servicemembers to terminate their service, (b) destroy unit cohesion, (c) increase the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, (d) give rise to favoritism and tension in military units, and (e) decrease military preparedness and fighting power. In your experience, how realistic are these concerns?

4. A frequent but often unspoken concern is that the lack of privacy associated with military life -- including showers and cramped living facilities -- makes it difficult for straight and gay military personnel to serve together. How real are these fears?

5. Are there more or fewer incidents of sexual harassment, gay bashings, and similar events as a result of open service in your military?

6. In your military, are gay and lesbian servicemembers placed in units that do not deploy, or otherwise treated differently from other troops?

7. What have been the effects of open service initiatives on military recruitment and retention? Are figures available detailing those effects?

II. THE TRANSITION TO OPEN MILITARY SERVICE

8. Once the decision was made to allow open military service by gay and lesbian individuals in your country, what specific steps were taken by the military to facilitate compliance with that decision? Which of those steps worked well? Which did not?

9. Are any ongoing initiatives currently underway in your country to facilitate open military service by gay and lesbian individuals? Are any future initiatives planned?

10. What legal, scholarly or other resources should be consulted by individuals who wish to learn more about military service by gay and lesbian individuals in your country?

Please send RSVPs to: Military.Preparedness.Conference@gmail.com