UK soldiers ousted due to sexuality can reclaim medals
Britain said on Tuesday it would allow former military members dismissed because of their sexuality to reclaim lost medals, a move welcomed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Homosexuals were not allowed to serve in the military until 2000 and a number of personnel were discharged due to their sexuality, losing any medals gained and the potential for earning any more.
“Those who serve in our armed forces deserve every recognition for their service,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
“It was a very great injustice that this was denied to some members simply because of their sexuality. I hugely welcome the fact we can now address this historic wrong.”
Some soldiers had convictions under specified legislation for homosexual behaviour that has now been de-criminalised, “while others were discharged solely on the basis of their sexuality, without any conviction,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
“In the course of their discharge, some personnel either forfeited medals directly, or were prevented from continuing to serve and thus denied the ability to regain medals that might previously have been forfeited for unrelated reasons,” it added.
Those affected can apply to have their case reviewed, with successful applicants receiving a new medal.
Falklands War veteran Joe Ousalice recently sued the MoD to have his medal returned after saying he was forced to leave the Royal Navy after revealing his bisexuality before a court martial.