Watch: Michael Gove insists the Army should make homosexuality mandatory
Conservative MP Michael Gove once argued for the British Army to encourage homosexuality among troops.
The former Justice Secretary and Brexit campaigner made the comments in his past life as a broadcaster, while hosting short-lived Channel 4 series A Stab in the Dark.
In one 1992 skit on the light-hearted topical news show, Mr Gove reflects on confirmation that homosexuality in the Armed Forces will be decriminalised, but openly gay soldiers were still banned.
He says: “It’s hard to conceive of an organisation more attractive to homosexuals than the Army, apart from the Navy.
“Far from punishing homosexuality, the Army ought to be encouraging it – from the dawn of time, the best soldiers have munched the mattress, from Julius Caesar to Alexander the Great. It’s no surprise really. Homosexuals will fight better because they’ve no family to worry about and all those men to impress.”
“The only other place they encourage men to dress up in uniform and discipline eachother apart from the Army is Larry’s Leather Bar on a Tuesday night.
“If you want to discourage homosexuality, you do not force 30 young men to sleep in the same room, encourage their regressive instincts, and deny them contact with the opposite sex. Banning homosexuality in the Armed Forces makes as much sense as outlawing it among male nurses, interior designers, or Liberal MPs.”
The future politician proceeds to press the issue in an interview with General Sir Anthony Heritage Farrar-Hockley, a distinguished Army General.
The now-deceased General claimed: “The trouble is you see, if you have them in the Army – people have to get into nasty places like the trenches with another man… you’re trying to do some sentry goal before the enemy slits your throat, you don’t want him suddenly putting your arm round him and trying to stroke your hair, it’s very distracting.”
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Gove pushes: “You say you’ve got to be on your guard, but shouldn’t you be encouraging homosexuals to join the Army?
“Surely other soldiers wouldn’t want to attack homosexuals… they’d admire them, as they’re well turned out, physically fit, and they want to impress other men!
“It seems clear to me that these are qualities that all homosexuals have, so surely we’d want to welcome them in the Army?”
The show’s producer Paul Ross brought up the comments today on his TalkRADIO show, after Mr Gove’s wife Sarah Vine sparked debate with a column about transgender rights.
Mr Ross recalled: “Michael Gove very forcefully argued and convinced an army general that we should only have gays in the armed forces because the most ferocious ancient Greek warriors were the gaycadia, and would fight to the death to your lover or people who had already been picked on by society.
“In the end, Michael Gove managed to convince this General that he was onto something.”
Other gems from Mr Gove’s career as a broadcaster has come to light in the past. One memorable clip surfaced of him reporting from a Pride parade for BBC News.