Veterans called forward to share views on pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the armed forces

A call for evidence has been launched to share views on the treatment of veterans affected by the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the armed forces.

Individuals who were affected by the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the armed forces are urged to respond to a 17 week call for evidence to inform recommendations to ensure that the service of every LGBT veteran is understood and valued.

Responses are welcomed from all those who served in the UK Armed Forces from 1967 – 2000 and their families, and from academics and organisations with an interest in the UK Armed Forces and the LBGT community.

The call for evidence has been designed to be user-friendly, quick to fill in and easily accessible. Individuals will be able to come forward through an online survey here or via Freepost.

Regardless of where they live, veterans affected by the UK armed forces ban will be able to provide their testimony to the call for evidence.

This call for evidence comes following the appointment of The Lord Etherton PC QC last month.

The Lord Etherton PC QC said:

“The object of the Review is to provide evidence based recommendations to the government as to how best the government can meet its commitment to ensure that all veterans’ experiences are understood and their military service valued, and how best to acknowledge and remedy the injustice of dismissal of LGBT service personnel prior to 2000 on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

“This call for evidence will ensure that veterans can share their experiences. I encourage all those affected by the ban to come forward with testimony in this safe environment, to shape the review’s recommendations.”

The review was announced by the Defence Secretary and former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay, as part of the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan in January 2022. 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 review will consider the experiences of LGBT veterans and their families in the context of the pre-2000 ban, including the nature of dismissal, the impact this had on their subsequent lives.

From these testimonies, the review team will be able to make evidence-based recommendations as to how the government can meet its commitment in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan and ensure the service and experience of every LGBT veteran is understood and valued.

Last week, the government also announced the appointment of Johnny Mercer as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs at the Cabinet Office.

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