Applicants to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are, for the first time, to be asked their sexual orientation.
All police forces in Great Britain monitor the number of gay and lesbian people working for them, but the PSNI has to estimate the number in its workforce, as the Gay Police Officers Organisation in the province declines to reveal their membership numbers.
Under the plans, potential officers will also be able to declare if they are in a civil partnership.
Maura Muldoon, diversity manager at the PSNI, said the force has to reflect changes in Northern Ireland society.
“Things like the Civil Partnership Bill are evidence that issues surrounding sexuality are becoming more acceptable in our society,” she told the Sunday Life newspaper.
“The PSNI has done a lot of work around trying to make sure that true diversity, which is about having a voice as well as a presence, is the reality of the situation in the organisation.”