A petition has been launched calling on Prime Minster David Cameron to formally apologise to ex gay force members who were kicked out for being gay.
Calls are being made for the UK’s Government to issue formal apologies to men and women who have been kicked of the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans.
Many loyal members of the HM Forces found themselves investigated, discriminated against and eventually discharged from their job. Many of the forces’ members were highly decorated and were discharged simply for being gay or lesbian.
The petition is also calling for the resettlement grant to also be given as well as advice that would have been offered to other members leaving the forces.
Writing on her petition Jacqui De La Maziere said,
“Many won honours, fought, were accepted as part of their teams, yet suffered emotional, mental and material scars that still last. Many were made homeless, lost their pensions, job, friends, family and still haven’t picked up the pieces of an alternative career years later. It’s time for an apology, for the resettlement grant and advice that would be offered others leaving the forces, and for recognition for their contributions.”
Gay and lesbian people have been permitted to serve in Her Majesty’s Armed Force since the year 2000. Despite this, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes a provision, which states that a “homosexual act” could constitute as, grounds for discharge.
In 2016 the UK Government agreed on an amendment that would see words in two sections of the law repealed.
It is thought that up until 1998 around 60 force members a year were being discharged for being gay.
In 1999 that number rocketed to 298.
You can get involved by signing the official petition here.