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Royal Navy marches in London Pride

Royal Navy Pride in London 2016
29 June 2016
Royal Navy personnel donned their ceremonial uniform and proudly displayed their operational medals as they marched through the streets of the capital for the annual Pride in London event on Saturday 25 June.

A record-breaking 1 million people attended this year's event, seeing the Naval Service amongst the 40,000 parade participants alongside colleagues from the Army, RAF and MOD Civil Servants. The parade was particularly poignant following the tragic events in Orlando the previous fortnight.  

Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt MP told defence participants, “After the terrible events two weeks ago, I joined hundreds of people in London who came together to show their solidarity with the community in Orlando. The attack in Orlando was an act of terror, but terrorists don’t have a monopoly on terror. And that is why you are so important

“When nations see you marching, treasured by your nation, they will stop, think and know this is not just a reflection of the society you serve; it is because you are absolutely essential in the defence of it”

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 Service, including those serving within the Maritime Reserves, Royal Fleet Auxiliary as well as all fighting arms of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

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

Rear Admiral Nick Hine, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy)

“It was an amazing day, the atmosphere was one of solidarity and love. The applause we received as we marched made me feel proud knowing the LGBT+ community supports us and stands with us against hatred”, AB Michael Day remarks. 

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 women, this support is given to everyone’s families and the wider community.” 

The following day, Compass also supported UK Black Pride, celebrating the contribution made to the Naval Service by black LGBT+ officers and ratings. 

Attending events Rear Admiral Nick Hine, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy), explained, “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.”

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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