The thousands of British military personnel who had been dismissed due to being homosexual will now have their service medals restored. Until 2000, it was illegal for gay men and women to serve in British armed forces.
While gay rights activists welcomed the gesture, they believe the service medal restoration is simply the “first step on a journey,” as said by Craig Jones, chief executive of Fighting with Pride – a charity supporting LGBT+ veterans. Jones pointed out that issues such as enduring criminal records, lost pension rights and blemished service records still need to be addressed by the Ministry of Defense.
“This is nowhere near enough,” said Joe Ousalice, a 70-year old Falklands veteran who had his service medal removed in 1993. “The medal effectively decrees what you get for your pension. By taking my medal and three good conduct badges I had, my rank was cut. I had to wait til 60 to get a pension, whereas I could have gotten it immediately.”