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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Thai Army Draft Bans Gays, Transsexuals

The Thai military plans to make gay men and transgender people exempt from the draft, claiming that allowing them to serve would make the armed forces "collapse."

Army Commander General Somdhat said gays and transsexuals will be identified during medical and psychological examinations at draft centers. If discovered, they will be sent back home, reports the Associated Press.

"The military has to keep them out, which is not because we are prejudiced but because we fear that the military will collapse," General Atthanand said in a Matichon newspaper report.

Currently, Thai people have to register for the draft at the age of 20 and serve in the military for two years. Up to 80,000 men are expected to be drafted during this year's conscription process, to take place in April.

General Atthanand said being gay, a cross-dresser or a transvestite could create problems for the military "because they may have physical attributes that are inappropriate."

In the past, gay men and transsexuals have been fired from the army when they were found unable to adjust to military life.

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