But more recently, the high-profile 2010 hearings on "Don't ask, don't tell" in the United States propelled the issue to the center of international attention.They also shed light both on the routine discrimination, violence, and hardship faced by LGBT-identified soldiers, as well as arguments for and against a ban on their service.In many of them special support and advocacy organizations are present.By contrast, countries near the bottom of the index show the lack of aspiration to promote greater inclusion of the LGBT military personnel.They are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.While the US military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was rescinded in 2011 allowing open service by gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members, transgender people are still barred from entering the US Military.
However, homosexual behavior has been considered a criminal offense according to civilian and military law in most countries throughout history. military, physical exams and interviews were used to spot men with effeminate characteristics during recruitment.
In an inherently violent environment, LGBT people may face violence unique to their community in the course of military service.
For instance, the Israeli Defense Force does not ask the sexual orientation of its soldiers, however half of the homosexual soldiers who serve in the IDF suffer from violence and homophobia.
The LGBT Military Index is an index created by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies that uses 19 indicative policies and best practices to rank over 100 countries on the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members in the armed forces.
Countries with higher rankings, especially the ones at the top, stand out for their multiple concerted efforts to promote the inclusion of gay and lesbian soldiers.