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Royal Navy and Royal Marines named top public sector organisation for LGBT rights

19 October 2018
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines have won a top equality award in recognition of the Naval Service’s support for LGBT+ people.

The PinkNews Public Sector Equality Award 2018 recognises the contributions of public sector organisations that have gone above and beyond to become LGBT+ inclusive and show their support for LGBT+ rights.

It comes just a few months after the Royal Marines officially took part in LGBT+ pride events for the first time when they marched at Pride in London this year.

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Mike Hill is the co-chair of Compass, the Naval Service’s sexual orientation and gender identity network.

Diversity is our strength, and maximises our operational effectiveness. We stand up for what is right and protect our communities and our values on a world stage

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Mike Hill

He said: “It was a real privilege to accept this award on behalf of every sailor and Royal Marine who have all contributed to ensuring we serve in an inclusive Royal Navy.

“We have come a long way on this journey, recognising the importance of recruiting and investing in the best talent regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Diversity is our strength, and maximises our operational effectiveness. We stand up for what is right and protect our communities and our values on a world stage.”

The award recognises the significant progress the Naval Service has made since the ban on people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender serving in the armed forces was lifted in 2000.

The Royal Navy was the first defence organisation to join Stonewall as a Diversity Champion in 2005 and has continued to develop ties with its LGBT+ workforce through Compass.

The award was presented by Lord Michael Cashman and Olympian Mark Foster.

The other nominees in the category were the House of Commons, Welsh Government, Northumbria Police, Transport for London, De Montfort University, National Assembly of Wales, St Andrews University, Ministry of Justice and Nottinghamshire County Council.

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