RAF recruitment drive at Gay Pride festival

The
RAF is hoping to recruit new officers at a major gay festival this weekend –
the first time in history that gay recruits have been specifically targeted.

Eight
officers will staff a float at Manchester’s
Gay Pride event over the bank holiday weekend, as part of a recruitment drive
to show that the Armed Forces welcome people from different backgrounds.

Until
January 2003, it was legal for the Armed Forces to reject gay and lesbian
officers.

But
the European court of human rights in Strasbourg
ruled that the ban breached gay peoples’ right to respect for private life.

A
spokeswoman for the RAF told the the
Guardian newspaper: "Along with the other armed forces, the RAF tries to
reflect the community from which it draws it members.

"We
have recruitment policies that recognise that people from different backgrounds
can make positive contributions," she added. "An individual’s sexual
orientation is none of the RAF’s business."

Daniel Thomas

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