Army bans soldiers in uniform from London Pride
A split has emerged in the Armed Forces over the issue of London’s Pride march on the 30th June.
The Chief of the General Staff has issued orders banning LGB Army staff from marching in unifom at the event or from wearing anything that would identify their Army role.
General Sir Richard Dannatt’s decision has caused controversy at the Ministry of Defence and among the gay community.
The Royal Navy, which is a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, allow sailors to march in uniform at Pride and use it as a recruitment opportunity.
The Times reports that a “highly sensitive internal debate between the three Service chiefs over whether gay and lesbian members of the Armed Forces should be allowed openly to participate in the event” took place.
Last year the RAF joined the Stonewall scheme, which now has over 300 members from across business and the public sector.
The scheme promotes best practice and gives organisations guidance and advise on how to create equality in the workplace.
The MoD is keen to promote all the armed services as good employers for minority groups.
Although General Dannatt is a committed Christian, it is not thought his personal religious views influenced his decision.
Instead he was said to be concerned that participation or recruitment at Pride may damage the Army’s reputation.