Dutch politicians have given their support to plans to sue a retired US general who claimed gay soldiers were partly responsible for the Srebrenica massacre.

A new group called Pink Army, made up of former soldiers, hopes to sue General John Sheehan for slander and defamation.

Gen Sheehan told a Senate hearing last week that out gay soldiers in the Dutch army lowered morale, which contributed to the 1995 genocide.

He claimed that Dutch military leaders told him this, although the country angrily refuted his claims with the prime minister calling them “disgraceful”.

This week, a majority of politicians in the Dutch parliament voted to support Pink Army’s initiative to secure a retraction and apology from Gen Sheehan.

Pink Army hopes to raise the $200,000 (£134,000) it needs to bring a class action lawsuit in California against him.

The group wants to force him to publicly retract the statements and possibly attend a sensitivity course.

Pink Army founder Peter Schouten said yesterday that Gen Sheehan had “smeared” out gay soldiers with lies.

He added: “There is also the fact that the gay rights movement in the US is at a fragile juncture and there are far too many people who might believe this nonsense. Gay rights are human rights and therefore a matter of civility.”