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New Zealand Defense Force rated world’s most LGBTI inclusive military

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) has released a study of LGBTI inclusion in the world’s militaries and has rated New Zealand’s armed forces the most supportive
Members of the New Zealand military's Overwatch LGBTI network
Photo by Overwatch/Facebook

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) have given a 100% rating for LGBTI inclusion to New Zealand’s armed forces – topping the rest of the world’s militaries for inclusiveness.

HCSS released the study yesterday and says it is the first ever global ranking of countries by inclusion of LGBTI service members in the armed forces.

Nigeria was rated the worst country for LGBTI military inclusiveness with a rating of just 3%, followed soon by Iran and Syria at 6% and 7%.

The only African nations to have an inclusion rating of more than 50% were South Africa at 80% and Rwanda at 52% and the only Middle Eastern country with a rating higher than 50% was Israel at 92%.

The most LGBTI inclusive militaries in Africa other than South Africa and Rwanda were the Democratic Republic of Congo at 40% and the Republic of Congo at 49.3%.

Most South American nations rated in the 70’s to 80’s with Argentina and Brazil rated the most inclusive militaries on that continent at 88.8% and 86.8 percent respectively.

However of the South American countries in the study, Peru’s military inclusiveness trailed the region at just 61.8%.

Of the Asian nations in the study Japan’s military was ranked the highest for LGBTI inclusion at 78.5%, followed by Thailand at 66% the Philippines at 62.5%, Vietnam at 58% and Nepal at 55.5%.

Surprisingly the Pakistani military was rated as more inclusive of LGBTI people than India’s at 41.5% and 34% respectively.

None of the majority Muslim countries in Asia received a rating higher than 40% with Indonesia scoring the highest at 37.5%.

Following New Zealand in the top five were the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia in that order – who all scored more than 95% for LGBTI military inclusion.

The United States trailed far behind most of Europe and neighboring Canada at 72.8% compared to Canada’s 6th place rating at 94.3%.

Countries were assessed on LGBTI inclusion, admission to the military, tolerance, exclusion and persecution.

The HCSS has produced an interactive online resource explaining the study here

The New Zealand Defense Force's 'It Gets Better' video:

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