When using the term ‘LGBT veteran’ or the ‘LGBT veteran cohort’ in this report, we are referring to veterans who served between 1967 and 2000 who either identify as LGBT or were perceived-as-LGBT.

The independent Review examined the effect that the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the UK Armed Forces has had on LGBT veterans. The Review sought to better understand the experience of LGBT veterans who served in the UK Armed Forces between 1967 and 2000.

The Review is independent of the Government and the Armed Forces. Delivering a focused, independent, and robust Review provided those affected by the pre-2000 ban the opportunity to give their testimony, which informed recommendations on how to address the historic hurt experienced by LGBT personnel.

The purpose of the Review was to make recommendations to the Government, in the light of all the evidence gathered in the Review, as to how the Government can best fulfil its commitments set out in the Strategy for Our Veterans.

The independent Review covers the period from 1967 when, subject to limited exceptions, the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised in England and Wales same sex sexual acts in private between consenting adults (at that time 21 years of age or older) except for those subject to service law until January 2000 when the Ban on homosexuals in HM Armed Forces was discontinued. Between 1967 and 1994 a person who engaged in same sex sexual activity committed a service discipline offence. In addition, between 1967 and January 2000 there was a blanket ban on the presence of gay men and lesbians in the armed forces, whether or not they had engaged in a same sex sexual act. The government accepts that this historic policy was wrong.

Front cover artwork

With thanks to David Tovey for providing his artwork. David Tovey served in the British Army between 1991 to 1997 and left the military due to the fear of his sexuality being discovered. Now, David is an internationally award-winning artist, educator and activist who works to raise awareness about the social issues he tackles. This includes speaking regularly at housing and homelessness events, and teaching art to people experiencing homelessness at ‘Path With Art’ in Seattle. David is also the founder of the UK’s first One Festival of Homeless Arts and Co-Director of the charity ‘Arts & Homelessness International’.