NATO chairman Di Paola: Allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly "working out quite well"
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From the February 22 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
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From CNN.com's transcript of the discussion:
BLITZER: Let's talk about gays serving openly in the military. It's a big debate here in the United States as you well know, right now. Most of the NATO allies, including in Italy, allow gays to serve openly in the military. How is that working out in the NATO alliance?
DI PAOLA: I think it's working out quite well. In the end, fundamentally, the issue here is the sexual orientation is not an issue insofar as you being a soldier or whatever you would be in the environment you are working for, that is not a problem. Sexual orientation is a personal matter, not a matter for state policy.
BLITZER: So it hasn't undermined unit cohesion, combat readiness?
DI PAOLA: Absolutely not. If there is misconduct, applied to a gay or non-gay, that would be treated as misconduct. So your sexual orientation does not have to influence the environment in which you work.
BLITZER: When NATO troops, whether from Canada, Britain, or Germany, or France or Italy, serve in Afghanistan, for example, with U.S. combat troops and there are gays serving side by side, have you seen one example of an incident that has undermined the ability to fight?
DI PAOLA: I have not seen it. I am not aware of it. Of course, I don't know all the cases that might have happened. But I'm not aware of any cases of any relevance.