The government of Argentina has announced plans to repeal its ban on gay military personnel, according to recent news reports, making it the second country in South America, following Colombia, to prohibit discrimination in its armed forces.

Argentina’s government intends to modernise its code of military justice which, among other changes, will no longer prohibit same-sex relationships among personnel in its armed forces.

“The ban was nonsense,” said Colonel Judge Advocate Manual Lozano, “It’s a matter of people’s private lives.”

According to C Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defence Network, Argentina’s move toward non-discrimination makes the United States increasingly isolated in its prohibition on gays in the military.

“From Israel to South Africa to Argentina, countries are recognising that banning qualified service members only hurts their readiness,” said Mr Osburn.

“Eva Peron once observed that ‘shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun.’ Today, in her country, gay patriots are emerging from the shadows and being recognised for their dedication and service,” he added.

Argentina joins a growing list of at least 25 nations that no longer exclude openly gay service personnel. American military allies, including Great Britain, Canada and Australia, have lifted their bans on open service.

Membership in the European Union requires nations to abolish any prohibitions on service by gays. Openly gay personnel from allied nations are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, alongside American troops.

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