Royal Navy official expresses full support for gays
March 18 2006 1:00 AM ET
The head of
personnel for Britain's Royal Navy expressed full support
Thursday for enlisting openly gay sailors, saying that it is
"unhealthy" they have been forced for so long to hide their
sexual orientation. Vice Admiral Adrian Johns made the
remarks prior to giving a speech titled "Reaping the
Rewards of a Gay-Friendly Workplace" at a
conference organized by gay rights group Stonewall,
reports London's Daily Telegraph.
Until January 2000, the British Armed Forces
barred openly gay people from serving, but since then
out service members have made great strides,
especially in the Navy, which has let gay sailors "tie
the knot" on its ships and will let them march in
uniform at London's gay pride parade this summer.
"Those individuals need nurturing so that they
give of their best and are in turn rewarded for their
effort,'' Johns told the conference about the Navy's
gays and lesbians. "Nurture includes the freedom to be
themselves. Our mission is to break down barriers of
discrimination, prejudice, fear, and misunderstanding.''
He added that since consulting with Stonewall in
2004, "policy has shifted toward creating an
environment where gays and lesbians can now feel free
to 'come out' if they wish, without fear of being harassed
Johns is in charge of the Royal Navy's
39,000 members. (The Advocate)
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