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Imperial War Museum celebrates ten years since military gay ban was lifted

Jessica Geen July 24, 2009

Imperial War Museum North is to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the lifting of the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the British Armed Forces.

Although homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967, it remained illegal for those serving in the military until 2000. A series of rulings in the European Court of Human Rights led to the ban being overturned.

The Manchester museum will hold a Cultural Pride event to explore how lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans history and heritage are gathered and reflected in museums, galleries and cultural events.

It follows the museum’s Military Pride display, which was unveiled in 2008 and is now touring Greater Manchester.

The anniversary is in January 2010 and the evening, scheduled for August, is timed to coincide with Manchester Pride.

James McSharry, of Imperial War Museum North, is one of those speaking at the event. He said: “The experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, within the context of conflict, war and military service, is arguably still a largely hidden history. Through this event we can make a step towards helping to reveal and celebrate it.”

Councillor Paul Fairweather, who sits on the Manchester Pride board, will also speak and answer questions in a discussion. The third speaker and panellist will be Tony Tibbles, the former director of Merseyside Maritime Museum.

To attend the Cultural Pride evening, email [email protected] or call 0161 8364064. It is to be held on August 23rd from 6-8.30pm.

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