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We've joined forces with Fighting with Pride, the LGBT+ veterans' charity, to bring relevant stakeholders to a round-table discussion, to further understand upcoming developments in the sector and the campaign for justice.

The meeting attracted MPs, Government officials, other veterans’ charities, academics, LGBT+ organisations, and LGBT+ veterans.

It came at a crucial time in the widespread campaign for justice for veterans who were wrongfully discharged, as Lord Etherton’s review – examining the experience of LGBT+ veterans affected by the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the Armed Forces – is expected to report to Government next month.

The meeting was co-chaired by our chief executive, James Needham, and Fighting with Pride’s executive chair, Craig Jones MBE, who said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the service of LGBT+ veterans to be recognised and, with the support of charities like Help for Heroes, our team are pushing for the best possible outcome from the LGBT veterans independent review.”

Delegates from the LGBT+ roundtable discussion pose
Delegates took another step on the road to achieving justice for LGBT+ veterans - (Geraint Hill/Help for Heroes)

Needham added: “We are delighted to support Fighting with Pride’s long-running campaign for the rights of LGBT+ veterans. 

“We are pleased to be able to work alongside an organisation that has such a wealth of expertise and lived experience on this subject. We strongly believe the sector should be here to support all veterans and it is time we came together to support those from the LGBT+ community who have, not only suffered discrimination within service, but have also felt excluded from the veteran community. 

“To this end we hosted this event to bring together people who can take action and back the campaign. The discussion was forthright on occasion, as one would expect, but, ultimately, there was better understanding, and overwhelming support for the future campaign.”


It has been 23 years since the ban on homosexuality in the Armed Forces was lifted.

While there has been some progress – all three services have since had representatives at Pride marches, and same-sex couples are now accorded the same accommodation and benefits entitlements as their heterosexual colleagues – work still needs to be done to understand, acknowledge and, where appropriate, address the harm the ban had on LGBT+ veterans.

We're here for all veterans. It is determined to play its part in this fight for justice. It has been working with Fighting with Pride to ensure this review brings action for those veterans who have suffered harm to their emotions, finances, or health, because of the ban, discrimination, and abuse they suffered within our Armed Forces.

Executive officers of Fighting with Pride and Help for Heroes
Fighting with Pride’s executive chair, Craig Jones MBE (right), with FWP chief executive Caroline Paige, centre, and Help for Heroes' chief executive James Needham - (Geraint Hill/Help for Heroes)

If you've been affected by any of these issues please contact us for help and/or support.

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