British Army Recruits will be asked their sexual preference before signing up for service.
The ban on gays in the British Armed forces was lifted in 2000, and now, 15 years later, it seems they would prefer new recruits to proclaim their sexuality.
Why is the British Military caring about sexuality now? One statement is that answers will be kept on record in a step to prevent homophobic attacks.
But they have stressed recruits can opt out of a declaration. James Wharton, 28, suffered beatings in the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals for being openly gay. He was famously saved from one attack by Prince Harry.
Spokeswoman Mandy McBain said: “By knowing more about personnel, the forces can support them better.” – The Mirror
Would knowing a certain percentile of your troops identify as gay help in supporting their needs? And what kind of needs are we talking about? Will it be just to prevent attacks or will the British Military adopt new programming? Will this showing of caring and attentiveness be beneficial to all?
Recruits will also be invited to provide additional information on how open they feel they can be regarding their sexual orientation. The information will not be visible on individual personal records or to chain of command or managers, and will be anonymised before being collated to ensure no one can be identified by their personal diversity information.
The MoD said there was no specific drive to recruit more lesbian, gay or bisexual personnel. – BBC
The title of the BBC article is Gay question to recruits ”to improve diversity.” One thought is, if they are collecting this data, then not linking it to personal files, and not specifically recruiting more LGBT individuals, how is this improving diversity? It seems more like a way to do a census of the military forces. And if that is the case, do they plan on going back and asking all current members, service men and women as well as officers of the British Military their sexual identity?
A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: “The MoD proudly encourages diversity at all levels. Service personnel are now encouraged to declare their sexual orientation. Although this is not mandatory, collecting this data will give us a better understanding of the composition of our armed forces and help ensure our policies and practices fully support our personnel.”
This move to encourage recruits to declare their sexual orientation was introduced last November. The armed forces said it believed the new policy would shed new light on its workforce and help create a more inclusive organisation. – The Guardian
Is this a good thing for the British Military to do? Do you believe the United States will be next to do so?
Next Step? Is the Military Leading the Way?
What about job applications? We are always asked the gender as well as race / ethnicity question. We are asked military status, too. These questions are mostly voluntary, but then some applications will not let you continue until you respond either by answering or selecting to opt out. Why aren't we asked the sexual orientation question? I sometimes think we are asked the gender and race question so it is on file so if we feel we are discriminated against, we have it documented that we identify as such a person. With many cities and states having laws against sexual orientation discrimination, maybe we should be asked to disclose such information. After all, employers promote "Equal Opportunity Employment." How do they know they are being so equal if they do not collect the data?
Your thoughts? Do you think there should be a question about sexual preference / identity on your next job application?