Military Pride
LGBTQ

Hundreds Of Defence Personnel March For Pride

Military personnel led by the Band of the Welsh Guards paraded through the capital.

Military Pride

Hundreds of Armed Forces and defence personnel marched in celebration of Pride in London this weekend.

Led by the Band of the Welsh Guards, members from all branches of the military paraded through the capital, 50 years on since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

The Army's Diversity and Inclusivity Champion, Commander Field Army Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders marched alongside personnel, after holding an event at the Union Jack Club in Lambeth for all defence personnel taking part in the march.

He said:  

“Under fire, no one cares if someone is black or white, gay or straight.

"An individual should be valued for who he or she is and what they can do.

"Only by fully embracing our diversity will we be set to overcome the varied challenges of the future.

 

"I’m proud to be the Army’s LGBT champion and straight ally and want to celebrate the service of LGBT members of the Army.

"The MOD has come a long way since 2000 when Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) personnel were afforded equality in the Armed Forces; they are now openly encouraged and supported in a community whose watchword is respect".

In the lead up to Pride, the rainbow flag symbolising LGBT pride has been flown over the Ministry of Defence headquarters and Horse Guards this week.

Earlier this year, Lt Gen Sanders told Forces News he wants a diverse service where sexuality is no longer an issue and stated that "the British Army has no place for prejudice".

February 2017, Lt Gen Patrick Sanders: 'we can only attract the best talent by being open to all'.

Just 17 years ago it was still illegal to serve your country if you were homosexual, with anyone found to be gay being court-martialled, fined and dismissed.

However fast forward to 2017, and both the Royal Navy and the Army are ranked by Stonewall's top 100 employers for LGBT staff in 82nd and 99th positions respectively.