Letter: Armed services' illogical stance on gays

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The Independent Online
Sir: Hundreds of us were posted to GCHQ and outstations during the last war and soon recruited into the armed forces, if not already in them, without anyone in authority asking if we were homosexuals or not. I imagine about 10 per cent of us were. I never detected that any of my colleagues in the skilled and demanding work then being carried out by GCHQ were homosexuals, nor would it have occurred to us that it could make the slightest difference to our acceptability or usefulness.

But if the authorities had suddenly decided in the middle of the Second World War to expel all homosexuals from the armed forces - now that really would have been damaging.

If Britain could win the war without expelling homosexuals from the armed forces, then I should have thought the British armed services could survive, and indeed flourish, in peacetime without worrying about the homosexuals in their ranks.

Obviously there no doubt are, and certainly should be, stringent regulations about the acceptable extent of sexual activity in, for example, sea-going vessels and other cramped and crowded conditions, which would naturally apply to everyone, not just homosexuals. Everyone understands that much.

I am not, as it happens, a homosexual.

Yours faithfully,

ALEC VANS

Awre,

Gloucestershire

30 January

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