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Missouri lawmaker: Allowing gays to serve openly increases a military’s casualty rate.

By Alex Seitz-Wald

"Missouri lawmaker: Allowing gays to serve openly increases a military’s casualty rate."

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Nodler4Missouri State Sen. Gary Nodler (R), who is running for Congress, recently argued that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) “would offend the terrorists” and be a “cultuaral [sic] affront to the Muslims in who’s [sic] country we are operating.” When blogger Eli Yokley asked Nodler to clarify his comments, noting that many U.S. allies do not discriminate, Nodler suggested that the UK has a higher causality rate than other allies because it allows gay men and women to serve openly:

NODLER: The fact is, in Iraq, and for a period of time in Afghanistan, that happens to be the force that had the highest casualty rate. I can’t say with any certainty that I have any proof that that’s because there’s less comfort from the Iraqis and Afghanis in dealing with those forces, but it might be. And so, I believe the highest casualty rate in any of the allied forces has in fact been Great Britain.

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As the Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky noted, Nodler is advocating a policy that allows foreign nations and cultures to “guide U.S. military policy.” Nodler has also expressed concern with women serving, saying that the policy might not be “advancing the goals of the U.S. military.” Moreover, every NATO member except the U.S. and Turkey allow gay men and women to serve openly. A recent report from the Palm Center found that “preliminary findings that open gays do not disrupt military effectiveness hold over time, including in Britain, whose policy of non-discrimination marked its ten-year anniversary last month.”

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