New Zealand has topped a new global index ranking armed
forces for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexuals and
transgender soldiers, with Australia rating in fifth place.
The LGBT Military Index assesses admittance, tolerance,
exclusion or persecution of homosexuals to measure 103 armies
worldwide, the Hague-based Centre for Strategic Studies
New Zealand topped the index and the Netherlands and UK
ranked joint second with Sweden coming in fourth.
The US, at 40th, ranked below Romania. Nigeria came last in
The think-tank noted that New Zealand had produced a video
for the "It Gets Better" project, which reached out to young
people struggling with their sexuality.
In the video, introduced by then Defence Force chief
Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, nine defence force members
spoke of being scared to tell their friends and family about
"I was gay, and that was how it was, and it wasn't going to
change for me," says a corporal.
"Could I just live with a girl anyway, and still have the
kids and the dog and the white picket fence?" says a flight
The video ends with each member saying things get better.
At the start of the video, the NZ Defence Force says it is
proud to be an organisation that accepts its LGBT staff.