A new Ministry of Defence policy announced today will allow former Armed Forces personnel who were dismissed from service on the basis of their sexuality to apply to have their medals restored.
Former service personnel will be invited to apply for any medals forfeited as a result of disciplinary action and dismissal during the historic ban on being homosexual in the military, which was lifted in 2000.
“It is deeply regrettable that because of their sexuality some members of the Armed Forces were in the past treated in a way that would not be acceptable today.
“I am very pleased now to be in a position to address this wrong and to invite any personnel affected or, in some circumstances, the families of those who are deceased to apply to have their medals returned.”
All applications will be reviewed individually by the Defence Council and, if approved, the MOD Medal Office will arrange for a new medal to be awarded to the claimant.
In correcting this historic injustice, the MOD is seeking to comfort veterans and their families and underline that the Armed Forces is now an organisation that welcomes and promotes LGBT+ personnel.
“LGBT+ personnel have and continue to make significant contributions to the Armed Forces. Today's announcement addresses a historic injustice and demonstrates that the military is a positive place to work for all who choose to serve.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans
Work is also underway across the UK Government to examine and understand the wide-ranging impact of pre-2000 practices in the Armed Forces in relation to sexuality. This will ensure that beyond the return of medals, the impact of this historical wrong is acknowledged and appropriately addressed.