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Army Chief clears air on GDF Homosexual Policy – 20th Nov 2012

The Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force today said, that the GDF does not discriminate based on sex or sexual orientation. His comments at a handing over ceremony at army headquarters came in light of revelations that the GDF sent two female soldiers packing after realizing that they were involved in a relationship. The GDF has been trying to shy away from the issue since this newscast broke the story over a month ago. Today the head of the army said its more about conduct and not about preference.

But as this newscast has reported the GDF has a very strict ‘no gays in the military’ policy and although senior army officials have been saying that the policy is really ‘don’t ask don’t tell’, there is nothing on paper to support their statements. What is on paper as part of the GDF Personnel policy, which has been seen by this newscast, is a policy that encourages soldiers to bring to their superiors attention any person serving in the military known to be involved in homosexual activity or suspected to be involved in the same. The top brass would then make a decision about the type of disciplinary action that would be meted out.

The army’s policy states that dismissal is the most likely.

The Chief of Staff also tried today to paint the Guyana Defence Force as an equal opportunity employer although there have been concerns in the past about how women soldiers are treated and even a policy that covers pregnancy.

The Chief of Staff did not take questions on the issues today.

The two female soldiers at the centre of the controversy have not said anything much on the issue either. The army claims that one of the soldiers has left the force while the other is being counselled. A number of officers had told this newscast that they could not understand the GDF’s position since the women’s actions were done in the privacy of their own home and had nothing to do with their job or their performance on the job.

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