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Help for Heroes is calling upon our beneficiaries, supporters, and wider Armed Forces community to back a fair compensation deal for the thousands of LGBT+ veterans who served their country but were cruelly treated and dismissed from service because of their sexuality before the year 2000.  

Please take a minute to write your MP to support an increase in the proposed compensation payments to LGBT+ veterans.  

What are we calling for? 

Following it’s official apology to LGBT+ veterans earlier in this year, we are expecting the Government to shortly lay out how it intends to provide justice to the thousands who were subject to criminal prosecution, imprisonment and wrongful discharge from our Armed Forces before 2000.

Not only did these veterans endure the most horrific sexual abuse and violence, homophobic bullying and harassment while bravely serving this country, the criminal ban caused long-lasting financial and reputational damage.

Armed Forces and LGBT+ stakeholders standing on staircase
Help for Heroes and Fighting with Pride joint roundtable event, May 2023 - Help for Heroes

This includes criminal records, loss of medals and honours, loss of pension entitlements, estrangement from families and friends, forced separation from military society, loss of career, and future employment prospects.

In December 2023, the Government announced to the House of Commons its intentions to carry out all 49 recommendations of Lord Etherton’s recommendations. Our only exception is that the suggested cap of £50 million (estimated to be £20,000 per victim) on the whole compensation pot falls substantially short of what is needed to replace the victim's loss of earnings and pension entitlements, let alone provide feelings of justice or security in later life.

A full debate in the House of Commons was promised ‘in the New Year’ to properly discuss the Government's progress and the financial elements. However, we are seriously concerned that the reparation payments will not be sufficient or implemented in time for some affected veterans to see the results. Many of the veterans affected by the ban are now elderly or facing medical problems. Indeed, a date has yet to be set for a full debate in Parliament, despite promises made last year.

How to write to your MP 

All you need to do is to follow the link below and type your contact details and postcode into the box. This will show you who your MP is and bring up a template letter for you to send with one click.  

We’ve suggested some text you can use, but please, if you are able, do edit it to make it more personal – we know that MPs are more likely to take notice of personalised emails and queries, which are infinitely more powerful than standard letters. 

Help for Heroes is here to support all veterans to live well after service, that is why we are standing up for LGBT+ veterans, who were wrongfully treated by our Armed Forces.'

Beth Miles

Director of Public Affairs

Campaigning for justice for LGBT+ veterans 

The review followed a campaign led by Fighting With Pride (FWP), the UK’s only LGBT+ veterans' charity, to provide justice for the hundreds of veterans who served in the military, but who suffered substantial harm to their health, emotions or financially as a result of the ban.  

We supported FWP’s campaign in May by hosting a roundtable event which brought together key stakeholders from across the Armed Forces and LGBT+ sectors as well as from Government. 

The Charity also worked with parliamentarians to build support for the review and its recommendations and encouraged veterans with lived experience of the ban to submit evidence to the review.

Find out more about the history of the ban