Swedes accuse Finnish army of ‘anti-gay bias’
A gay rights organisation has accused the Finnish Defence Forces of acting in a discrimatory and insulting way towards Swedish gay soldiers.
HOF, which promotes the rights of gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals in the Swedish military, says that the attitude of the Finns makes it difficult for LGBT soldiers to take part in joint operations.
Sweden still practices conscription and there has been debate in the country over the rights of gay people in the military.
The country’s Armed Forces are deployed in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Kosovo.
HoF was launched in December 2001 to support serving members of the Swedish Armed Forces who are gay, bisexual or transgender – officers, civilians and conscripts.
Only conscripts who volunteer are sent on missions outside Sweden, and there is evidence that LGBT Swedes are reluctant to do so because they might face hostility.
The President of HOF told Swedish radio he wants the Swedish Defence Minister Mikael Odenberg to raise the issue of “discriminatory and insulting behaviour” with the Finns, accusing them of being the most difficult soliders to work with.