LGBT veterans whose lives were “shattered” after being banned from working in the military because of their sexuality will share their stories as part of a Government review.
The Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which is part of the Cabinet Office, will be working with charities to improve the support offered to homosexual veterans through the review, which was launched on Wednesday.
Those involved will hear the evidence of veterans who have been impacted by criminal convictions, prison sentences and dismissals in disgrace because of the pre-2000 ban.
Defence minister Leo Docherty said the review will ensure the Government learns from their experiences.
Mr 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.”
Co-directors of Fighting With Pride, a charity which supports LGBT veterans, Craig Jones MBE and Caroline Paige, said they would be working with the Government to help veterans whose lives were “shattered” by the ban.
In a joint statement they 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.”
The Cabinet Office has said the review’s chair will give further details on how veterans impacted by the ban will be able to contribute to the review.