Haig Housing Supports Pride: Honouring and Advocating for LGBT+ Veterans

This Pride Month, Haig Housing is proud to stand in solidarity with the LGBT+ community, focusing on the unique experiences and needs of LGBT+ veterans. The journey toward equality has been long and challenging. The 1967 Sexual Offence Act decriminalized homosexuality for consenting men over 21 in England and Wales, yet it excluded the Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy. As a result, LGBT+ personnel faced dismissal and criminal charges, with these discriminatory practices continuing until January 2000.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Armed Forces LGBT+ charity, Fighting With Pride, significant progress has been made. An Independent Review into LGBT+ veterans by Lord Etherton led to 49 recommendations, all accepted by the government. These recommendations aim to provide reparative measures for those unjustly banned from service, including those who left voluntarily to avoid living in secrecy and those wrongly accused of being LGBT+.

The government has allocated up to £50 million for compensation and other restorative measures to support affected LGBT+ veterans. These measures include:

  • Formal apologies
  • The return of medals, Warrants, and Commissions
  • A special badge or ribbon
  • A National Memorial at the National Arboretum

Veterans can specify their interest in non-financial measures and register for future compensation through the official government page. For further advice and support, contact Fighting With Pride at info@fightingwithpride.org.uk or reach out to Patrick Lyster-Todd, a trustee of Fighting With Pride and a manager at Haig Housing, at patrick.lyster-todd@haighousing.org.uk.