Applicants to the Police Service of Northern Ireland are to be asked their sexual orientation for the first time. Currently all GB forces monitor the number of gay and lesbian people working for them.

Potential officers will also be able to declare if they are in a civil partnership.

The move comes as two female officers are due to exchange vows in the next week, the first gay ‘wedding’ in the history of the force.

At the moment, the PSNI have to estimate the number of gay and lesbian officers, as the Gay Police Officers Organisation in the province decline to reveal their membership numbers.

Since the start of 2006, all officers have undergone training on bullying and workplace harassment.

“I think we reflect the society in which we operate to some extent, and I suppose as Northern Ireland changes, the PSNI will change,” Maura Muldoon of the PSNI’s Diversity Unit told the Sunday Life newspaper.

“Things like the Civil Partnership Bill is evidence issues surrounding sexuality are becoming more acceptable in our society.

“The PSNI have done a lot of work around trying to make sure that true diversity, which is about having a voice as well as a presence, is the reality of the situation in the organisation.”