Petition 80532

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Adult Equality (80532-C2-R9999)

Add a new resolution as follows:
    There are 24 countries, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) (www.sldn.org), which allow openly gay, lesbian or bisexual adults to serve on active duty in their respective military services:  Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium*, Canada*, the Czech Republic*, Denmark*, Estonia*, Finland, France*, Ireland, Israel, Italy*, Lithuania*, Luxembourg*, the Netherlands*, New Zealand, Norway*, Slovenia*, South Africa, Spain*, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom*. Those 13 with asterisks (*) are also members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which, as an organization, also does not discriminate based on sexual orientation in its own hiring practices (http://www.nato.int/structur/recruit/info.htm).
    National security agencies do not discriminate against gays. The CIA, DIA, FBI and NSA do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. In a post-September 11 world, these organizations’ contributions to the security of our country are paramount. Except for the military, the federal government does not discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation.
    Pentagon and government studies support gays in the military. Published government studies support gays serving in the military. An exhaustive 1993 Rand Report concluded that the U.S. military could lift the gay ban without detriment to readiness. The PERSEREC Reports (1988, 1989) concluded that (1) there was no empirical evidence to support the gay ban, and (2) there was no empirical data to suggest that gays differed from heterosexuals on any performance measure.  In 1993, General Barry Goldwater said that “You don’t have to be straight, to shoot straight” when he spoke in support of lifting the ban on gays serving in the military. General Wesley Clark, former Navy Secretary and Senator John Chaffee, Assistant Secretaries of Defense Edward Dorn and Lawrence Korb, all support gays serving in the United States military.
    Many had hoped that President Clinton would issue an executive order allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military in the same way that President Harry S. Truman desegregated the military in 1948.  This did not happen.  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies produce second-class members of the military and continue to provide opportunities for blackmail.  It should be a non-issue.
    Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults are not second-class citizens.  Every person created by God faces his or her own challenges in daily life to overcome and live a life closer to God’s, should that person decide to do so.  There should be one playing field where all people are of sacred worth. Promiscuity should be reduced in all parts of our worldwide community.  Think one Gospel for all.
   
Therefore be it resolved that the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church support the repeal of all Federal and State laws which restrict and/or prohibit otherwise qualified gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered adults from serving in any branch of the United States armed forces (including Coast Guard) or state National Guard and the armed forces of any other country or territorial entity which still officially restricts gays, lesbians, bisexual or transgendered adults from serving in any of that country’s or entity’s armed forces.