Sunday, 12 October 2008

Telegraph: Army's top general makes history by addressing conference on homosexuality

This post is dedicated to the Army chiefs in Armenia

The head of the British Army has made military history by addressing a conference on homosexuality, The Sunday Telegraph reports:

General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, told members of the Army-sponsored Fourth Joint Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Matters that homosexuals were welcome to serve in the Army.

In a speech to the conference in London on Thursday, – the first of its kind by any Army chief – Gen Sir Richard said that respect for gays, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-sexual officers and soldiers was now "a command responsibility" and was vital for "operational effectiveness".

In the speech, he said: "We have made real progress in our understanding of equality and diversity in the military context, and there is a desire to achieve more yet. My recent Equality and Diversity Directive for the Army sets the standard that we must live by, and, importantly, it communicates that standard to everyone in the chain of command.

"Respect for Others", one of the Army's core values, is at the heart of this directive. [...]

Sources close to the general, who is a Christian with deeply held views, said that Gen Dannatt was determined to speak at the conference because he wanted to demonstrate that the modern Army is a tolerant organisation, where people of any sexual orientation can make a valuable contribution.

The source added: "There will be a reaction to this by some in the Army but I think the majority of soldiers will welcome it. Being gay isn't the issue it once was. What matters on the battlefield is how you fight not who you sleep with – it's just not an issue." [...]

*photo - by GETTY, via Telegraph

No comments: