This is the beginning of the rehabilitation of those who threatened and expelled thousands of British soldiers from the army because of their sexual orientation. Until 2000, the UK military excluded homosexuals and bisexual soldiers and lost all their medals. On Tuesday, February 16, the Ministry of Defense announced that these soldiers could claim compensation.
Joss Salis was a radio operator in the Royal Navy for 13 years. He participated in the Falklands War, served in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, and was an authorized soldier. But sometimes when his range realizes that he is sharing his bed with someone else, his life changes. He went to court in 1993 and was expelled for being bisexual. “I lost my house, my car and my girlfriend … I was so indebted, it took me 10 years to recover financially, and they jumped off a bridge and tried to kill me.”, Informs the soldier.
“On my last day in the military, I found myself in front of the base commander. He told me that ugly people like me have no place in this world.”Joe Salis, ex-soldier
Today, Joss Salis regained his medal, but in his opinion, if the Ministry of Defense is working, it is because he complained. “Talking about medals is all good and good, but this is only the first step and there is still a lot to do.”, Emma Norton, a lawyer founded by the Center for Military Justice, responds. “All these LGBT veterans are being financially compensated and they are poorer than they are.”
At age 70, Joe Salis received only a small pension because he had been demoted before the military expelled him. His struggle is the struggle of all soldiers who were humiliated until 2000.
A fight led by Lieutenant Commander Craig Jones. This former sailor had to hide his homosexuality throughout his career. He is currently leading the fight with the Pride Association to help LGBT veterans. Some were convicted of homosexuality, He explains. There are others who are prejudiced against the good order of military discipline, and there are those who are then forced to resign. It could affect thousands of people.
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself speaks today “Historical error” These soldiers are identified as victims of a “Great Injustice”.