'This Week' Transcript: Don't Ask, Don't Tell


SCIUTTO: When the ban was lifted in 2000 with virtually no preparation, something remarkable happened: nothing, no resignations, no impairment of fighting ability, and almost no incidents of harassment.

TATCHELL: Some homophobic politicians and service chiefs played up and exaggerated their likely dire consequences of allowing gays to serve, but that was because they were against homosexuality. But when the ban was lifted, their fears did not materialize.

SCIUTTO (on-screen): Gay servicemembers were quickly given all of the benefits available to other soldiers and sailors, including shared quarters with their partners in barracks like this one. In fact, gay campaigners say that the military quickly became one of the most tolerant organizations in the country.

(voice-over): Today, in a sign of just how far things have come, the military even recruits at gay pride parades.

(on-screen): So if nothing happened, why do you think it took the British military so long then to do it?

WEST: We are a reflection of the society we live in, and we should be, because we are protecting and defending it, but we're always slightly behind it in getting there.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): For "This Week," Jim Sciutto, ABC News, London.


AMANPOUR: So one of the things that he mentioned inter alia was that against it was because people were against homosexuality. That's your position regarding gays serving in the military, correct?

DONNELLY: Our position is that military readiness should come first.

AMANPOUR: Well, we've just been talking about military readiness. So what is really the position?

MAGINNIS: Well, this particular piece that you just showed on foreign militaries -- I work with foreign militaries every day, still do, and have for many years.

You know, it's -- the U.S. military is about 18 times larger than the Brits. You know, to compare them to -- you know, to us is like comparing an M1A1 tank to a Roman chariot.

AMANPOUR: But the issues are the same. The issues are the same.

MAGINNIS: No, the issues are fundamentally about privacy, about unit cohesion, about trust and confidence, about readiness, about, you know, retention, you know, recruitment. You look at all those.

Unfortunately, Christiane, the -- the report that the Pentagon came out with, based upon a flawed survey, doesn't support that if you look at how they did the process. And, unfortunately, unless Congress does the right thing for the nation, you know, we're going to depend upon some pretty bad research that scientists are going to disagree with.

AMANPOUR: Is it about morality or is it about combat effectiveness? One historian has said the idea of unit cohesion was the only thing they could come up with, but it was based on very little.

SCHULTZ: Nothing will be good enough for the opponents who do not want to repeal "don't ask/don't tell." It's not about the evidence; it's about the ideology. They're saying, oh, you can't compare the U.S. military to other militaries. We're bigger, we're in war, et cetera, et cetera. But then they simultaneously want to say we have the most professional forces in the world, which we do.

AMANPOUR: But how do you answer -- how do you answer concerns by people who think that, if this is repealed, suddenly there will be an onslaught of openly gay behavior, the showers, the bunks, all the things that people who don't like this...

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