It may initially spark a few red flags as government invasion of privacy, but gay rights groups are applauding the British Armed Forces for announcing they will now ask new recruits to disclose their sexual orientation.
It’s important to note that the disclosure is completely optional — recruits are free to opt out if they so choose. The logic is that the more personnel records the forces has on its service men and women, the more support and protection they can provide.
James Wharton, who suffered violent attacks in the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals for being gay and who was once famously saved by Prince Harry, said:
“It’s fantastic news. But it’s important troops don’t have to reveal sexual preferences. I wasn’t ready to do that.”
The ban on gay troops has been lifted since 2000. Since then, the Ministry of Defense has issued several retroactive human rights payouts to soldiers who were discriminated against based on sexuality.