LETTER:Why Blimps fear military gays

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The Independent Online
Sir: As the debate over gays in the armed forces continues ("Soames pledges to defend forces' ban on gays", 5 March) the arguments put forward by those against would indicate a serious lack of character among the personnel of Her Majesty's armed forces.There are, always have been and always will be gays in the services. The argument is as to whether people should be permitted to be "open" about their homosexuality.

One main argument against is that it would lead to a breakdown in discipline. Has any such breakdown been observed in the armed forces of those countries such as Australia and Holland, where gays are allowed to serve? Are we to assume that the personnel of HM forces are too immature and uncertain about their own sexuality to cope?

Finally, it is the great conceit of heterosexual men that gays are "after them". They can rest assured that this is a fallacy, the vast majority of gay men are just not interested in them.

I suspect that opposition to gays comes from the blimpish old guard who remain at the top at the MoD. The younger generation are far too well adjusted and comfortable with their sexuality to perceive any threat from working alongside gays.

Robert Readman

Sandbanks, Dorset