HL Deb 01 July 1997 vol 581 cc24-5WA
Earl Howe

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the comments of the Minister of State for the Armed Forces as quoted in the Observer of 1 June 1997, what is their policy towards the current ban on homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces.

Lord Gilbert

As the Government has already made clear, the issue of homosexuality in the Armed Forces is reviewed as a matter of course in every Parliament. As and when a review is required in the new Parliament the Government will form a view on the weight of the evidence, taking account of the UK's laws, and of the views of the European Court, and of the Armed Forces. The Government will start with the position agreed in the last Parliament, which supported the policy of excluding homosexuals from the Services, and will look in detail at the findings of the detailed review of the policy which was undertaken by this department in 1995/6. We will then seek to establish the way forward in consultation with the Chiefs of Staff.