GBT veterans whose lives were ‘shattered’ after being banned from working in the military because of their sexuality will share their stories as part of a government review.
The Veterans Affairs Office, part of the Cabinet Office, will work with charities to improve support for gay veterans through the review, which was launched on Wednesday.
Those involved will hear testimony from veterans who were hit with criminal convictions, jail time and shameful dismissals due to the pre-2000 ban.
Defense Minister Leo Docherty said the review will allow the government to learn from their experiences.
Mr Docherty said: “As the modern military embraces the LGBT community, it is important that we learn from the experiences of LGBT veterans who were impacted by the pre-2000 ban.
“This review will give veterans a voice and, most importantly, help us better tailor support to the community.”
The co-directors of Fighting With Pride, a charity that supports LGBT veterans, Craig Jones MBE and Caroline Paige, said they would work with the government to help veterans whose lives have been “shattered” by the ban.
In a joint statement, they said: “We welcome this important step by the government in its work to find a remedy for LGBT+ veterans who have presented for military service and have been treated in a way that does not does not reflect the values of the UK today.
“During this review, the Independent Chair will hear from veterans whose lives have been shattered by criminal convictions, prison sentences and disgraceful dismissals, and the lasting impact on those lives.
“Thousands of others have ended their careers prematurely through administrative or other means.
“FWP looks forward to working with the government to achieve an honorable outcome for LGBT+ veterans.”
The Cabinet Office said the chair of the review will give more details on how veterans affected by the ban will be able to contribute to the review.