Leaked MoD advice urges compromise over gays ban

A LEAKED internal Ministry of Defence legal report regarding its ban on homosexuals in the services has revealed the ministry will ultimately have to remove the ban even if it wins action in the UK courts.

The Government would stand a better chance of winning, the document advises, by “moving towards a compromise solution, eg: no open homosexuality”.

The MoD's legal adviser, who was not identified, warns that if the policy decision, due on 16 March, is made to keep the ban there is a chance of losing any action in the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The advice also says the Government “would be likely to lose” before the European Court of Human Rights. It says that would occur in three to four years time and in the event of a loss any compensation awarded would be small.

If the ECJ decides against the MoD under the equal treatment directive, the worst scenario is legal liability to compensate for all homosexuals discharged on grounds of homosexuality alone since 1978, says the advice.

Angela Mason, executive director of gay pressure group Stonewall, said: “The MoD seems determined to cling to their prejudices regardless of reason or justice. To recognise that the policy is unlawful and press ahead regardless shows a contempt for democracy and law which is incredible.”

Last year four former service men and women were dismissed on grounds of their homosexuality. They lost in the Divisional Court and at appeal but the case will go to the House of Lords.