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Royal Navy supports London Pride 2016

Navy marches in London Pride
24 June 2016
Record breaking crowds are set to see the naval service demonstrate commitment to Diversity and Inclusion with a 50-strong contingent marching through London at the annual Pride event.

In light of the recent event in Orlando, the crowd is expected to be in excess of 1 million people. Pride organiser, Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Mike Hill said:

"Tragic recent events highlight the continuing need to support the diverse community which we serve, whom I am proud to stand in unity with at the event."

The contingent will be made up from members of Compass, the sexual orientation and gender identity network of the naval service which supports the breadth of the naval service, including those serving within the Maritime Reserves, Royal Fleet Auxiliary as well as all fighting arms of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

"By marching in the parade, we send a powerful message that the Naval Service, the Armed forces, and the thousands supporting us will stand against those who discriminate through their words and actions," reservist Sub-Lieutenant Brendan Saunders explained.

Amongst the marchers, Medical Assistant Amy Risker-Woods is one of the first female submariner ratings having returned from her initial patrol on HMS Vigilant only a few days prior to the event.

"Marching in the parade shows how committed the navy is to all those who serve regardless of sexual orientation or gender and whilst I happen to be married to a woman, this support is given to everyone’s families and the wider community."

Marching in the parade shows how committed the navy is to all those who serve regardless of sexual orientation or gender

Medical Assistant Amy Risker-Woods

Meeting with participants prior to the event Rear Admiral Nick Hine, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (policy), explains. "People perform best when they feel valued and supported, and can be themselves.

"We need the best people, and we need them to feel included. It makes me proud to see our people, whether LGBT+ or straight ally, marching in London; building on our success as a Top 10 employer in the UK’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index."

The event takes place on 25 June, Armed Forces Day. Those marching will also be joined by Minister of State for the Armed Forces Penny Mordaunt as well as representatives from the Army, RAF and MOD Civil Service. They will see a fly-past by the Red Arrows display team.

Members of Compass will also be supporting a number of other pride and diversity events across the country and may be followed through their twitter account @RNCompass.

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