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Aussie Gay Defense Force Group responds to ADF Facebook Scandal

The Australian Defense Forces have been rocked this week with several scandals, including the establishment of a "naming" group on Facebook.

The following statement is from DEFGLIS, the Defense Force Gay and Lesbian Information Service, in relation to the article published by The Sydney Morning Hearld titled "Defence Force rocked by vicious gay-hate campaign on Facebook".

"In 2011, 19 years after the lifting of the ban prohibiting Gay and Lesbians from serving in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it is disheartening to learn of the malicious gay-hate campaigns on sites such as Facebook that have been directed at men and women who selflessly serve our Country both at home and on operations.

Chief Stuart O’Brien, Chairman and founder of DEFGLIS, stated: “I am saddened by this incident and am dismayed that in this day and age, supposed members of the ADF who pride themselves as possessing the qualities of Honour, Loyalty and Integrity, would publicly and viciously attack fellow serving members”.

Discrimination and harassment of any kind regardless of work-place or profession, is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. The ADF boasts one of the finest Equity and Diversity policies which attempts to ensure a workplace free from discrimination and harassment, and promotes a ‘Fair Go’ for all.

“Our support goes out to those harmed by this attack, and also to others who may still be fearful of coming-out and disclosing their sexual orientation. This incident represents a significant setback for the fight for equality within the ADF and has the potential to discourage others from seeking careers within Defence.”

Currently on his third operational deployment to the Middle East, Chief O’Brien went on to say “This incident highlights the need to further educate the serving men and women of the ADF that this sort of behaviour is contrary to everything the ADF stands for. By embracing diversity and strong leadership we will overcome this and ensure we use our diversity to maintain an effective and highly capable Force.”

DEFGLIS is an organization of Regular, Reserve and Civilian members of the Australian Defence Organisation who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) and allies. Our aim is to provide information on: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues for members, supervisors, divisional staff and management staff of Defence.
Our mission is to provide support and increased consideration for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community, complementarily with the Australian Defence Organisation and established Defence and civilian support organisations.

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