Australian military embroiled in gay-hate claims

ADF has allowed persons who are gay or lesbian to serve openly since 1992.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 20:55 PM IST

Sydney: Australia`s Defence Force was
embroiled in another scandal on Wednesday after claims it failed to
discipline dozens of personnel allegedly linked to an online
gay-hate campaign.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the military received a
complaint eight months ago about a Facebook site created to
expose and intimidate what the page called "bum bandits
getting around the ADF".

"This page has been created to inform current and past
serving members of the ADF who is biting the pillow," the page
reportedly said.

"I have had other emails from ADF members reporting
their suspicions, (but) only confirmed cases of homosexuality
will be displayed on this page."

The page, which has since been taken down, allegedly
had links to violent and pornographic videos on YouTube, with
dozens of ADF members signing on as "friends".

The newspaper said key ADF personnel were aware of the
complaint but no one had been disciplined.

One of those targeted was Major Paul Morgan, an army
psychologist who served in Iraq. He was named on the Facebook
page for having made a "filthy lifestyle decision".

"It is very hard being gay in this organisation," he
told the Herald.

"I have sacrificed my whole adult life to the army and
the inaction in this case is soul-destroying."

The ADF acknowledged it received a complaint about the
website eight months ago, and claimed investigations were
continuing.

"Defence was made aware of certain `anti-gay` social
media activities in August 2010," it said in comments emailed
to a news agency.

"The material which Defence was made aware of does not
reflect Defence`s official position, and is not representative
of the behaviour and thoughts of the majority of Defence
personnel.

"The attitudes and behaviours described are contrary
to everything that the Australian Defence Force stands for and
has achieved in welcoming and supporting diversity across the
organisation."

The ADF has allowed personnel who are gay or lesbian
to serve openly since 1992 and in 2005 recognised same-sex
interdependent relationships.

The latest claims come after the military announced a
series of reviews this week into the treatment of women
sparked by a sex scandal involving a young female cadet at an
elite military academy.

The woman went to the media after a male recruit
allegedly filmed himself having sex with her and broadcast it
via Skype to his friends.

PTI