UK foreign office apologises for banning LGBT staff from diplomatic service

·1-min read
Representative image
Representative image

London [UK], July 5 (ANI): The UK Foreign Office apologized on Monday for the historic ban that prevented LGBT people from working in the British diplomatic service until 1991.

In a message to staff, Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Head of the Diplomatic Service said: "The ban was in place because there was a perception that LGBT people were more susceptible than their straight counterparts to blackmail and, therefore, that they posed a security risk."

The official said he wanted "to apologise publicly for the ban and the impact it had on our LGBT staff and their loved ones, both here in the UK and abroad."

Baron claimed, however, that since the ban was lifted 30 years ago, the Foreign Office had made "great progress" in employing LGBT people and becoming a champion for LGBT rights around the world.

Xinhua quoting UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reported that he also thanked the LGBT diplomats who represented the UK in the past or are working in the foreign service, and highlighted that as a co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), alongside Argentina, the UK is working with 41 partner countries to tackle discriminatory laws and prejudice globally.

The official apology comes as the UK prepares to co-host an ERC conference on July 6-7 as a preamble of the global LGBT global conference to be held in person in London in June 2022. (ANI)

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