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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals have served honorably throughout the history of the U.S. military. However, gay individuals have not been allowed to serve openly because U.S. military policies and laws have prohibited them from being open and honest about their sexual orientation. On December 22, 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law removing all restrictions on gays in the military and set out a process by which to enable openly gay individuals to enter and remain in the U.S. military. This chapter is intended to contribute to ongoing discussions related to the challenges and opportunities associated with the participation and inclusion of openly gay service personnel within the U.S. military. It provides a brief historical review of military policies and laws concerning the treatment of gay service personnel in the U.S. military. It reviews empirical research related to sexual orientation and military service and outlines a theory of individual, occupational-organizational, and societal factors influencing the participation and inclusion of openly gay service personnel. Lastly, it discusses theoretical and methodological implications for future research in this area.

Keywords: Gays, sexual orientation, military

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