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Armed Forces (Homosexuality)

Volume 100: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1986

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces in 1985 were disciplined on the ground of male or female homosexuality; under what military regulations they were charged and disciplined; of the total number disciplined in that year, how many were (a) discharged administratively, (b) dishonourably discharged, (c) court-martialled and (d) given military prison sentences; and, in these cases, what was the minimum, maximum and average length of sentence, respectively.

No member of the services is disciplined purely on the ground of being a homosexual. If an individual has committed no offence, he will usually be administratively discharged, which is not a disciplinary procedure. However, homosexual practice is an offence under each Service Discipline Act, and may lead to administrative discharge for action under the Acts, which may result in dismissal or imprisonment.I refer the hon. Member to the statistics for 1981–84 given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement on 8 March 1985 at column

624–6.

The information for 1985 is as follows: