T his morning, Rishi Sunak received an open letter from The Fighting With Pride LGBT+ Veterans Coalition regarding his recent apology on behalf of the British Nation for horrific sexual abuse and violence, bullying and Harassment endured by service personnel. In the letter, The Prime Minister was urged to ensure that these veterans are not let down again.

 

11th December 2023

Dear Prime Minister,

Justice For LGBT+ Armed Forces Veterans

In your apology on behalf of the British Nation in Parliament on 19th July, you de- scribed the ‘gay ban’ as an appalling failure of the British State and you said that many service personnel endured horrific sexual abuse and violence, bullying and harassment, all while bravely serving this country.

The Fighting With Pride LGBT+ Veterans Coalition writes to you as a broad coali- tion of military and LGBT+ charities and organisations to urge that in response to Lord Etherton’s LGBT Veterans Independent Review Final Report, the Government must ensure these veterans are not let down again.

We urge you to:

  • As part of the Government response to the Etherton Review, a debate in Parliament was promised by the Secretary of State for Defence. It has now been con- firmed that this debate will not take place. The Government must honour its commitment to a full debate in the Commons. We are grateful to the Scottish Parliament for the debate planned at Holyrood on 13th December.
  • Disregard the LGBT Veterans Independent Review’s recommendation for a £50M cap upon financial awards, a stricture compelled by terms of reference that stated the Review should not ‘recommend new compensation schemes, that are unconstrained’.
  • Put in place a compensation scheme which fully recognises the disadvantage and injury LGBT+ Veterans have suffered. The LGBT Veterans Independent Review found that these veterans have been treated with shocking cruelty. We consider that :
    • This arbitrary cap was set without knowledge of the numbers of veterans affected, the nature of their losses or injuries they faced.
    • The cap provides a perverse incentive for the MoD to limit the number of people coming forward to attest to the impact of the ‘gay ban’. This direct- ly opposes the policy aim to achieve fair recompense for those harmed.
    • The scheme means that veterans will receive lower payouts than those who pursued individual court action, this is unfair.
    • There are better ways to protect the public purse than a cap. Tariffs and categories must be agreed which can expedite the administration of the scheme and this scheme must be a ‘spend out’ fun
    • The implementation of the cap would be hard to manage. In the 24 month period in which applications are to be considered, the last applications may well justify the highest compensation. How will this be managed if the scheme has by then ‘paid out’ ?
    • The compensation scheme must be implemented quickly for this ageing community of veterans who have been abandoned while experiencing ill health, housing crisis, financial impoverishment, loneliness, isolation and shame for decades.

We call upon the Government to recognise this once in a lifetime moment to bring an end to the shame and dishonour imposed upon these veterans. If we are to re- alise this Government’s ambition to be the ‘best place in the world to be a veteran’ and a ‘global exemplar in LGBT rights’ then our veterans must feel a sense of jus- tice and experience the security and comfort in older age that we would wish for all veterans. Remove the cap and agree fair compensation for those affected by the illegal and cruel ‘gay ban’.

Yours sincerely,

The Fighting With Pride LGBT+ Veterans Coalition

Comments are closed.

LGBTQ+ Musicians Experiences with Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Musicians from LGBTQ+ communities face significant barriers and issues relating to discrimination, sexual harassment and concerns around physical, mental and […]

WIN! A Storydo Family Storybook

Storydo is a ground-breaking platform that allows all types of families to tell their unique story and celebrate their family, […]

Military Charity Fighting With Pride Flies The Flag For LGBT History Month

Liverpool’s HMS Eaglet will host a special Veteran’s Pride event this month celebrating the service of LGBT+ veterans and serving personnel in […]

Franco Labia: Space Pride

Queer engineer and founder and president of Space Pride, Franco Labia is on a mission to diversify the space industry, which […]

Sacha Polak on Silver Haze

Screening at BFI Flare later this year, Silver Haze reunites Dutch writer/director Sacha Polak with British actor Vicky Knight. Having […]

Capturing People’s Truth: Anais Stupka

Anais Stupka is a London-based, Georgian-Italian multimedia artist who grew up in 14 different parts of the world.    Her […]

Philip Baldwin meets Adrian Trett

“It’s a real challenge to be non-binary and open about it in sport.”  Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett is a Liberal Democrat politician […]

Fynest Reads: To Cage a God

To Cage a God combines two things that fascinate me: Russian history and mythology. The book’s backdrop of a brewing […]

LGBT+ History Month 2024

The 2024 theme celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to the field of Medicine and Healthcare both historically and today.  We want […]

Touch-Me-Not: Ian Humphreys 

Touch-Me-Not  Ian Humphreys     this flower  doesn’t belong  on the canal  hiding  in an airless tunnel  where no-one goes  before […]