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Sacked LGBT veterans can reclaim removed medals

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Sacked LGBT veterans can reclaim removed medals

Old 16th Feb 2021, 10:22
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Sacked LGBT veterans can reclaim removed medals

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56079009

Ex-military personnel dismissed from the armed forces because of their sexuality can now reclaim lost medals.

Under a new scheme to remedy historical injustices, former service personnel can apply to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to restore honours. It follows Falklands veteran Joe Ousalice's successful battle to return awards he lost after being forced out of the Royal Navy for being bisexual. The MoD said its past actions were "deeply regrettable".

A ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people serving in the armed forces was lifted in 2000. Defence minister Baroness Goldie explained that, due to disciplinary action and subsequent dismissal, some service personnel "forfeited medals that they had earned" or lost out on long service awards. "I am very pleased now to be in a position to address this wrong and to invite any personnel affected or, in some circumstances, the families of those who are deceased to apply to have their medals returned," she said.

It is not known how many LGBT service personnel the ban affected, or the number who may now be eligible to have awards restored. Veterans minister Johnny Mercer urged anyone who might be eligible to apply and said the announcement "demonstrates that the military is a positive place to work for all who choose to serve".

Each application will be reviewed by the defence council, with the MoD's medal office arranging new honours to be awarded to those who are successful. Relatives of former personnel affected by the LGBT ban but who have since died will also be able to make applications for a review.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 14:10
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How about pensions? What if thay would have gone on to complete pesnsionable service? Will they be compensated for that?
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 14:32
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To deprive a person of the medals earned is IMHO simply spiteful.

However, those involved were removed for breaking the rules at that time. When a person was dismissed for a crime in the armed forces, they did not necessarily forfeit the pension earned up to that point and I seem to recall cases were reviewed viz a viz the 'crime'.

If somebody is to be compensated for being dismissed and hence prevented from acquiring a pension or a more favourable pension, what about those who had their pension abated (for life) when the government of the day decided to stage the pay/pension award into two stages.

I can predict that this new initiative will be the tip of another 'iceberg' along the lines of females being forced out on pregnancy.

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Old 16th Feb 2021, 15:07
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I can't imagine it was that many people - outside the Guards that is..............
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 16:00
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I can predict that this new initiative will be the tip of another 'iceberg' along the lines of females being forced out on pregnancy.
Back when this kicked off (mid nineties ish) I echoed your thoughts at the time. The fact that this has not happened to date (and assuming cases have not been settled "silently") suggests to me that there is a legal difference. To be clear - I'm not in anyway an expert and I'm just speculating....happy to be corrected by those in the know.

As I understood it at the time, the pregnancy issue was a huge foot shooting exercise by the MOD because it was acting in flagrant contradiction of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and continued to do so despite being advised of the consequences. One WRAF of my aquaintance wrote a lengthy and researched letter to the Staish on the subject only to get a memo back from OC WRAF telling here to wind her neck in or she'll get a fizzer. Smart lass kept said memo and produced it at her tribunal...no doubt adding some more noughts to the settlement.

I guess ???? the legal circumstances must be different for LGBT veterans...as I don't recall reading of such outcomes for them???
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 18:09
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The Armed Forces were exempt the provisions of the SDA 1975 , it was a subsequent EEC directive, albeit not too much later 1978 that did for the system. As RD says they knew about it and did f*** all.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 18:32
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I donít suppose any thought has been given to the next of kin of those who havenít survived long enough to benefit from this belated decision?
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 18:53
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Correct decision and there is no right or wrong answer in relation to pensions / service / payments.

Some, the initial decision it will have destroyed them with a probability of alcoholism etc etc. Whatever the result is and what ever the payment is, can never make up for being dishonorably discharged because of your sexuality.

If the Govt ends up paying out £100 million and £50 million of that is debateable then so be it, people had VOLUNTEERED for their country and it was their country that let them down.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 20:23
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About time, I always thought hounding people over their sexuality was wrong, however I would say those that joined up were aware of the consequences when they signed on the dotted line and some did use it as a cheap PVR, but that in no way made it right.
But to take ones awards and honours simply because of it was wrong.
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Old 17th Feb 2021, 08:44
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I don’t suppose any thought has been given to the next of kin of those who haven’t survived long enough to benefit from this belated decision?
Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said: “It is deeply regrettable that because of their sexuality some members of the Armed Forces were in the past treated in a way that would not be acceptable today.

“As a result of disciplinary action and their dismissal from service, some personnel forfeited medals that they had earned, and others were denied the opportunity of continued service that could have resulted in the restoration of medals that were forfeited for different reasons.

“I am very pleased now to be in a position to address this wrong and to invite any personnel affected or, in some circumstances, the families of those who are deceased to apply to have their medals returned.”
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Old 17th Feb 2021, 16:41
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I do wonder how many were just short of their pensions and if they will be allowed to gain a pension for at least those years they served before departure, if they were signed up to a pensionable age.
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Old 17th Feb 2021, 23:38
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I can't imagine it was that many people - outside the Guards that is..............
Not so. I was at a reunion and chatted to an old chum who had risen to the position of RAF Provost Marshal back in the early 90s (a one star post in those days). From what I could gather much of the SIB's work was involved with investigating cases of suspected homosexuality. Frankly what the SIB does now that homosexuality is no longer a service offence is a mystery to me - it seemed to be their main preoccupation in those days when blackmail was a very real threat. Getting rid of the ban was long overdue, and I certainly entirely agree that anyone who forfeited or was denied a medal should have it restored as soon as possible.

As an aside, it may be of interest that eight recipients of the Victoria Cross forfeited their medal for various reasons, including for the offence of bigamy in one case. Although it is still technically possible to have the Victoria Cross forfeited, this has not happened since 1908. King George V felt very strongly that the decoration should never be forfeited and stated that even if a VC were convicted of murder and sentenced to be hanged he should be allowed to wear his VC on the scaffold
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 07:25
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
Not so. I was at a reunion and chatted to an old chum who had risen to the position of RAF Provost Marshal back in the early 90s (a one star post in those days). From what I could gather much of the SIB's work was involved with investigating cases of suspected homosexuality. Frankly what the SIB does now that homosexuality is no longer a service offence is a mystery to me - it seemed to be their main preoccupation in those days when blackmail was a very real threat. Getting rid of the ban was long overdue, and I certainly entirely agree that anyone who forfeited or was denied a medal should have it restored as soon as possible.
I was the recipient of one of their "investigations " at Binbrook in 77 when working there on 71 MU. My charismatic C/T, banned from 3 Sgt's Mess's, told me to go the G'room one day after lunch as the SIB wanted to speak to me and, whilst he couldn't tell me what about, added "don't sign anything and don't hit them ok "....Get to the G'room and meet two aspiring Poirot's .

One commenced with addressing me, repeatedly, by my first name. By now, I'm intrigued and wary. Then comes the revelation about what they are "investigating " and why I fitted the description they had composed from witness's.....more on that at the end. We proceed to the transit block, some may recall these fibreboard slum buildings near the Mess and the rummaging around, and questions began.

The word "dire " would be an understatement in this respect. Why did I have a large packet of soap powder and large shampoo bottle ?.....seemingly blind to the other three occupants of the room with the same on display .....well, being on the road, and could be anywhere in the UK at very short notice, living in transit blocks, we tend to buy in bulk...how many times a day did I shower ?....depends really, as to how often I get covered in fuel, and had they ever had a fuel burn ?...why were my jeans faded ?....this was 77 remember so I said it may be related to the current fashion perhaps ? Recalling my C/T's advice I tried to remain calm but then suggested it they thought I was gay, they might like to contact a Cpl plod at Bruggen who was in the gliding club and whom I felt sure would be happy to confirm I had more than one involvement with the nurses at Wegberg.....apparently, they did as he told me a few months later, much to his amusement

At the end, the parting shot from Hercule 1 was about it being better to stay straight if you can...to which I replied I'd never been anything else sunshine....at which point the full scale rant of "it's Flight Sgt to you Cpl ! " suggested he was a bit pissed off.

As for their compiled description, well a few weeks later, they did arrest an individual....however, as he was about 10 years older than me, wore glasses and had a moustache, neither of which I've ever done or had, and their basis was "having dark hair and being on the MU ", which was true for me, but not for him as he wasn't MU, then you'll understand why I hold their "investigatory " skills in open contempt.

Met the C/T and the troops later who thought it was hilarious....the Chief, had, apparently, been given a direct order to remain in the room with them having told them to xxxx off and don't waste mine or his time ! " when they explained their "rationale " for the interview.

Obviously. no apology was ever offered.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 22:28
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That would be hilarious, K & C, if it wasn't pathetic. Lucky for you you didn't have a moustache - in 1977 that was probably cast iron proof of being gay in the SIB's eyes.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 06:03
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A raid on a room above a pub in Downpatrick in the 1970s caught a number of radar techs from Ulster Radar. The cops thought they had infiltrated a gay club but it turned out to be an illegal gambling den. They were all on the next Belfast to Heysham ferry.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 07:50
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K&C, the C/T wasn't Ben Chatterton was it? I did a couple of jobs on 71 MU in the mid seventies with him, rather a legend at the time.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 08:51
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Originally Posted by Arthur Bellcrank View Post
K&C, the C/T wasn't Ben Chatterton was it? I did a couple of jobs on 71 MU in the mid seventies with him, rather a legend at the time.
Yep, the one and only !......legend is an understatement in his case. Used to hitch hike everywhere, refused to drive due to being partial shall we say. but nobody on any Station we worked on with him i /c the team messed the MU around. Also a former rugby player for various Commands

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 19th Feb 2021 at 09:08.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 09:13
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Yep, the one and only !......legend is an understatement in his case. Used to hitch hike everywhere, refused to drive due to being partial shall we say. but nobody on any Station we worked on with him i /c the team messed the MU around. Also a former rugby player for various Commands

I once spent several weeks on rate 1 accommodation with him in a small pub in Collyweston, it was an astonishing experience. I believe that due to his rugby service with the RAF he had friends in very high places which made him immune to the requirements of Queens Regulations, a situation that he exploited shamelessly.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:03
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Back to the medals: is it just the "Long Gong" (LS&GCM) that was removed, or could other medals be "revoked"??
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 06:42
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I was a referee for a chap who needed a top security clearance and one of the nice former Met bobbies who did these things turned up at my office and we went through the paperwork.

At the end he said he just wanted to make sure he'd got my details right and he proceeded to check these. He then said something like: "You seem a presentable sort of chap sqn ldr O D, how is that you're in your late 30s and haven't been snatched up by some pretty girl"? I gave him my best smile and told him I was actually a 'reconditioned singleton' and was sorry to disappoint his fishing to see if I might be gay. I told him where he might find the former Mrs O-D and that was the last I heard of it.

He did tell me that the place where the candidate and I had served was a hot bed of sex, vice and all sorts of other things and when I suggested that I wished I'd known that at the time, he gave me a very dirty look!!!

O-D
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