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Brit Navy Encourages Gays and Lesbians to Enlist


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
Five years after Britain lifted its ban on gays in the military, the Royal Navy has begun actively encouraging gays and lesbians to enlist and has pledged to make life easier for them when they do.

The navy announced today that it had asked Stonewall, a group that lobbies for gay rights, to help it develop better strategies for recruiting and retaining gay and lesbian sailors. It said, too, that one such strategy may well be to advertise for recruits in gay magazines and newspapers.

Commodore Paul Docherty, director of naval life management, said the service wanted to change the atmosphere in the navy so that gays would feel comfortable working there. The current situation, where gays are not prohibited but where some feel intimidated nonetheless, does not go far enough, he said.

"While some gays were confident to come out, others didn't feel that the environment was necessarily accepting of them," Commodore Docherty said in an interview.

The partnership with Stonewall, Commodore Docherty said, will help "make more steps toward improving the culture and attitude within the service as a whole, so gays who are still in the closet feel that much more comfortable about coming out."