ASSESSING THE INTEGRATION OF GAYS AND LESBIANS INTO THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE

  • Aaron Belkin
  • Margot Canaday

Abstract

During the apartheid era, the South African military maintained a dual policy onhomosexuality – prohibited among members of the permanent force, homosexualitywas officially tolerated among conscripts. When the regime fell, the newgovernment committed itself to human rights considerations, and after the SouthAfrican Constitution adopted a provision of non-discrimination on the basis ofsexual orientation in 1996, the South African military followed suit. In 1998, theSouth African National Defence Force (SANDF) implemented the Policy on EqualOpportunity and Affirmative Action that declared that there would no longer bediscrimination against gays and lesbians. This article draws together military andgovernment documents, secondary research, press coverage and interviews withindividuals with knowledge on this topic to assess the effects of this policy change.The evidence suggests that the integration of gay and lesbian personnel has not had anegative impact on recruitment and retention, morale, unit cohesion or operationaleffectiveness in the SANDF.
Published
2011-08-10
How to Cite
Belkin, A., & Canaday, M. (2011). ASSESSING THE INTEGRATION OF GAYS AND LESBIANS INTO THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 38(2). https://doi.org/10.5787/38-2-87
Section
Articles