Britain's Air Force to join gay pride festival
August 27, 2004
LONDON — Britain's Royal Air Force is to strike a blow for equality in
the military by becoming the first of the country's armed forces to
take part in a gay pride event, it said on Thursday.
Eight RAF officers will join a float at the Gay Pride
spectacular this weekend in Manchester, a city in northwest England
with a strong gay community, an RAF spokeswoman said.
"Along with the other armed forces, the RAF tries to reflect the
community from which it draws its members," she said.
"We have recruitment policies that recognise that people from
different backgrounds can make positive contributions. An
individual's sexual orientation is none of the RAF's business."
This was not previously the case – up until the start of 2003,
all Britain's armed forces were permitted to dismiss homosexual
personnel, only stopping this following a ruling by the European
Court of Human Rights.
Last month 100 uniformed gay police officers joined the London
Gay Pride march in the capital. – Sapa-AFP
Tens of thousands celebrate gay pride across Europe [05/07/2004]