An independent review into the impact of the pre-2000 ban of homosexual personnel in the military has been launched.
The review is part of the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan, which has also been launched.
The independent review will provide the opportunity for the Government to better understand the lived experience of LGBT veterans who served prior to 2000, including how being discharged from the military because of their sexuality affects their life.
The information and experiences gathered as part of the review will allow the government to better tailor support to the LGBT veteran community.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty said:
“While the modern military embraces the LGBT community, it is important that we learn from the experiences of LGBT veterans who were affected by the pre-2000 ban.
“This review will allow the voices of veterans to be heard and importantly will help us better tailor support to the community.”
Minister for Equalities Mike Freer said:
“This government is committed to righting the wrongs of the past. Listening to those veterans affected by the ban will be critical to moving forward.
“Our Armed Forces have given us freedom and peace, and I am proud to stand alongside every LGBT veteran.”
Craig Jones MBE and Caroline Paige, Fighting With Pride Joint CEOs, said:
“We welcome this important step forward by the Government in their work to find remedy for LGBT+ Veterans who stepped forward for military service and were treated in a way that does not reflect the values of the United Kingdom today.
“In the course of this review the Independent Chair will hear accounts from Veterans whose lives were shattered by criminal convictions, prison sentences and dismissal in disgrace, and of the enduring impact on those lives.
“Thousands more ended careers prematurely through administrative or other routes. FWP looks forward to working with Government to achieve an honourable outcome for LGBT+ Veterans.”
Once a chair for the Review is announced, they will give further details of how those personnel impacted by the ban will be able to input into the review, ensuring their voices are heard.
The government has already taken steps to enable those who forfeited medals for reasons relating to their sexuality to apply to have them returned. The Home Secretary also recently announced an expansion to the disregard scheme, so that more veterans can benefit from it.
The review will provide information and recommendations on:
- The potential impact that the ban may have had on LGBT veterans, including the consequences for their future lives
- The accessibility of veterans’ services for LGBT ex-Service personnel
- How the government can ensure that LGBT veterans are recognised and fully accepted as members of the Armed Forces community
The Office for Veterans’ Affairs will continue to work with the charity sector to support individuals through issues that may arise from the historic ban on LGBT persons serving in the Armed Forces.
The terms of reference of the review will be published in due course.