‘Unjust And Discriminatory’: UK Intelligence Service Apologizes For Treatment Of LGBT Spies
The United Kingdom’s MI6 intelligence service apologized to its former LGBT spies who it said were fired or discriminated against because of their sexuality.
Richard Moore, chief of MI6, released a video message Friday morning expressing regret for the secretive intelligence service’s past treatment of LGBT individuals in its ranks. The message is the first time MI6 has publicly addressed its treatment of LGBT spies who were denied jobs or fired.
“Secret does not mean unaccountable,” Moore said. “Today, I want to publicly address an issue from our past.” (Biden Signs Executive Order Killing Trump’s 2018 Ban On Transgender Military Service)
Marking the 30 year anniversary of lifting the vetting bar to LGBT+ employees in intelligence agencies in 1991, I apologise on behalf of #MI6 for the way LGBT+ colleagues and fellow citizens were treated, and express my regret for everyone whose life was affected #LGBTHM21 pic.twitter.com/bLsnNeY8RJ
— Richard Moore (@ChiefMI6) February 19, 2021
While the U.K.’s criminalization of same-sex relationships ended in 1967, the nation’s security service tightly restricted LGBT individuals from serving until 1991, Moore said. MI6 leadership believed that LGBT spies were more susceptible to blackmail than straight spies, a view that Moore called “misguided.”
“Committed, talented, public-spirited people had their careers and lives blighted because it was argued that being LGBT+ was incompatible with being an intelligence professional,” Moore stated.
“This was wrong, unjust and discriminatory,” Moore continued.
Friday marks the 30th anniversary of MI6’s decision to end its policy barring LGBT individuals from working in a security role at the agency. Although the agency has committed to being a “fully inclusive employer,” the effects of the now-defunct ban have continued to linger since 1991, The Guardian reported.
It remains unclear how many individuals had been denied jobs or fired due to their sexuality, The Associated Press reported.
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