The 30-second spot was created by the Palm Center, and is aimed at educating the public about what happened to the militaries of our allies, when they opened the ranks to openly gay and lesbian troops. Namely, nothing.
The ad is a brief reminder of what the Palm Center found in its report earlier this year, titled “Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer.”
In that report, the Palm Center found that none of the 25 nations that currently allow gays and lesbians to serve openly suffered any “negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness,” and ”no consulted expert anywhere in the world concluded that lifting the ban on openly gay service caused an overall decline in the military.”
In the ad, titled “Business as Usual,” viewers hear statements from leaders of allied militaries.
Lieutenant General Walter Semianiw, now head of Canada Command (the organization responsible for Canadian Forces operations in Canada and throughout continental North America) referenced the American military’s current operations, saying “There is no negative impact of having men and women of any sexual orientation fighting together, be it in Afghanistan, be it in Iraq.”
Major General Simon Willis (retired), former Head of Defence Personnel in the Australian Defence compared his country’s lifting of its ban on openly gay service to the hype around “Y2K” – saying “It was a non-event, and it continues to be a non-event.”
Raw Story reports the Palm Center sent the ad to Fox News, but the network has declined to air it.
“Fox’s ‘reason’ was that the policy is ‘on hold’ so plans for repeal are ‘incorrect’,” Cathy Renna, a spokeswoman for the Center, told Raw Story.
In a statement, Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin said:
“I am surprised that Fox News would reject an ad featuring allied Generals, given that both host Bill O’Reilly and guest contributor Liz Cheney have expressed support for open gay service. This is an important time for input from all sides on this issue, and I hope Fox will reconsider.”
Whether Fox does or doesn’t reconsider, the Palm Center says it will has sent the ad to other networks, and fully expects it to air.
And you have the ability to do what Fox apparently will not. Send this ad to your family and friends. Discuss with them why you support the repeal of this discriminatory law – a law that chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen recently said “belies us as an institution (by forcing troops to lie about who they are.)”
Tell your friends and family that you stand with the leaders of our military, and the leaders of allied militaries, in support of finally lifting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.