Charities join forces in search of justice for LGBT+ Veterans

Help for Heroes and Fighting with Pride, the LGBT+ veterans charity, have joined forces to bring relevant stakeholders to a round-table discussion, to further understand upcoming developments in the sector and the campaign for justice.

The meeting attracted MPs, Government officials, other veterans’ charities, academics, LGBT+ organisations, and LGBT+ veterans.

It came at a crucial time in the widespread campaign for justice for veterans who were wrongfully discharged, as Lord Etherton’s review – examining the experience of LGBT+ veterans affected by the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the Armed Forces – is expected to report to Government next month.

The meeting was co-chaired by Help for Heroes chief executive, James Needham, and Fighting with Pride’s executive chair,  Craig Jones MBE, who said:

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the service of LGBT+ veterans to be recognised and, with the support of charities like Help for Heroes, our team are pushing for the best possible outcome from the LGBT veterans independent review.”

Needham added:

“We are delighted to support Fighting with Pride’s long-running campaign for the rights of LGBT+ veterans. 

“We are pleased to be able to work alongside an organisation that has such a wealth of expertise and lived experience on this subject. We strongly believe the sector should be here to support all veterans and it is time we came together to support those from the LGBT+ community who have, not only suffered discrimination within service, but have also felt excluded from the veteran community. 

“To this end we hosted this event to bring together people who can take action and back the campaign. The discussion was forthright on occasion, as one would expect, but, ultimately, there was better understanding, and overwhelming support for the future campaign.”

It has been 23 years since the ban on homosexuality in the Armed Forces was lifted.

While there has been some progress – all three services have since had representatives at Pride marches, and same-sex couples are now accorded the same accommodation and benefits entitlements as their heterosexual colleagues – work still needs to be done to understand, acknowledge and, where appropriate, address the harm the ban had on LGBT+ veterans.

Help for Heroes is here for all veterans. It is determined to play its part in this fight for justice. It has been working with Fighting with Pride to ensure this review brings action for those veterans who have suffered harm to their emotions, finances, or health, because of the ban, discrimination, and abuse they suffered within our Armed Forces.

Help for Heroes champions the Armed Forces community and helps them live well after service. The charity helps them, and their families, to recover and get on with their lives. It has already supported more than 27,000 people and won’t stop until every veteran gets the support they deserve.

The Charity supports veterans from any branch of the UK military – regulars or reserves – irrespective of length or place of service, and locally embedded civilians (and their families) who worked alongside our Armed Forces.

Check out our blog covering the history of the ban on homosexuality within our Armed Forces. To get support, visit

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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