Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has joined over 250 LBGT+ armed forces and civilian defence personnel to march in the Pride parade in London this past week.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt joined personnel from across the three services for the parade, marching alongside them and MOD civilian staff.
Earlier in the day, the Defence Secretary welcomed those participating in the march at an event at the Victory Services Club in central London. The event allowed personnel from across the country to meet and share experiences of service life.
The Armed Forces has long recognised the valuable contribution LGBT+ service personnel make to defence.
This year, all three services are featured in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers for LGBT+ people, and the MOD recently announced new measures to create more modern and flexible accommodation, including allowing cohabitation of same-sex couples, in MOD properties.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
The participation of our LGBT+ service personnel in the London Pride parade is a fantastic reflection and recognition of the value they bring.
The Armed Forces is an open and welcome employer, and we are absolutely committed to increasing diversity across the forces to better reflect the society we serve.
Today is the day to thank those LGBT+ personnel who work so hard to serve their country, and I was honoured to meet and march alongside so many of you today.
To honour and support LGBT+ armed forces personnel, as well as the broader LGBT+ community, the Ministry of Defence has celebrated Pride throughout the month by flying a rainbow flag above the department’s Main Building on Whitehall.
Individual services have also carried out their own activities, focussing on the contribution of LGBT+ armed forces staff to UK defence.
The 2019 Pride parade also marks the 20-year anniversary of the first transgender officer Flt Lt (Ret’d) Caroline Paige.