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  • Regimental unions

    by Rumbold
    27th March, 2010 at 7:27 pm    

    It has always bemused me when people attack homosexuals who wish to serve in the military. Often the critics are those who like to trumpet their patriotism, so it seems odd to criticise those who are willing to defend their country. It is good to see that the British army has gone one step further than mere acceptance (eleven years ago it was discharging people because of their sexuality) and is now blessing homosexual partnerships:

    The Household Cavalry, famed for escorting the Queen during state occasions and the fact that it counts both her grandsons among its officers, celebrated its first gay wedding in style. L/Cpl Wharton was joined in a civil partnership with his boyfriend, the Virgin air steward Thom McCaffrey, 21, surrounded by members of L/Cpl Wharton’s regiment, the Blues and Royals.

    “The entire regiment has been really supportive,” he said. “When I went to ask the Squadron Leader, Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah, for permission to get married, he just said ‘This is fantastic, congratulations’.”

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    1. Chris Paul

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Regimental unions

    2. pickles

      Blog post:: Regimental unions

    1. earwicga — on 27th March, 2010 at 7:43 pm  

      Nice one. The first civil partnership in the Palace of Westminster happened today as well

    2. Roger — on 27th March, 2010 at 7:49 pm  

      In the last century the Brigade of Guards was noted fot its homosexuality. Many of the other ranks used to supplement their wages with prostitution and many of the officers were also homosexual. Osbert Sitwell, a homosexual Guards officer, and Simon Raven, a bisexual officer in another regiment, both discuss this.

    3. KJB — on 27th March, 2010 at 7:55 pm  

      I am going to celebrate this and piss off our recent troll infestation by going to have an ‘ethical’ dinner in my ‘interracial’ relationship with my ‘pro-feminist’ male.

      It is a shame that the situation is nowhere near as relaxed in America.

      Roger - that’s interesting! I’d sort of vaguely heard about that via WWI literature, but I wasn’t sure it was true…

    4. KB Player — on 27th March, 2010 at 11:55 pm  

      Picking up a Guardsman was a favourite pursuit of upper class gay blokes. It’s the uniform that gets them, every time.

    5. Shatterface — on 28th March, 2010 at 12:56 am  

      They still dress sailors up like Japanese schoolgirls.

    6. dirty hetero — on 28th March, 2010 at 12:50 pm  

      Those evil homophobic Muslims… oh wait

    7. Roger — on 28th March, 2010 at 5:13 pm  

      “Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah”

      At least the officers still have double-barrelled names.

    8. Rumbold — on 28th March, 2010 at 5:24 pm  

      Heh Roger.

    9. damon — on 28th March, 2010 at 6:37 pm  

      Very good IMO.

      I presume the military has had to remake its ethos and culture like anywhere else since the Falklands War .. where I’m guessing that gay civil partnerships would have seemed perverse.

      I’m just saying - that I think they would have been then.
      Two fellas getting married??
      Time moves on so fast.

    10. me — on 28th March, 2010 at 8:41 pm  

      “Two fellas getting married??
      Time moves on so fast.”

      Well maybe things havent changed so much

      What was it Churchill said ?
      “”Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.”.

    11. bananabrain — on 29th March, 2010 at 9:27 am  

      *cough* spartans *cough* alexander the great *cough* julius caesar *cough* - whoever thought gays and the military didn’t mix obviously hadn’t read any military history.



    12. damon — on 30th March, 2010 at 9:18 am  

      The problem was I think the macho military culture that existed and probably still exists. It used be dreadfully racist too, but I saw a company of soldiers parading through my home town last year and they were a muulti-racial group of guys who had spent time together in Afghanistan - and I bet racism was not the problem it once had been. They looked very comfortable together.

      With gay men it might be a bit more difficult for them to find complete acceptance, as it’s more difficult to get past the ‘macho ideal’. A group of off duty squaddies on a night out in Manchester’s gay village or London’s Soho would probably find the ambiance of gay clubs and bars somewhat of an alien environment - unless they could be persuaded to lighten up a bit and get out and have a dance or whatever.

      I don’t think we should pretend that there is not this gap betweeen the mentality of your average young squaddie - especially those in tough regiments like the Paras and Marines, and the vibe you can pick up when visiting a gay venue.

      For example, in the case of the Parachute Regiment captain who underwent a sex change but wanted to stay in the army. The army sacked him/her rather than just allow her to continue as he/she was, but just wearing a woman officer’s uniform.

      Being posted to Gibraltar as some kind of PR job for the army might have worked, but it would have been almost impossible for Captain Jan Hamilton to continue as an officer in the Parachute Regiment …. would it not? Serving in Afghanistan again, where the Paras took a lot of casualties last year?

      Some of her fellow soldiers might have found Captain Ian now being Captain Jan a bit hard to follow.

    13. earwicga — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:55 am  

      Kinda related.

      THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A retired American general has apologized for a remark to the U.S. Senate suggesting that gay Dutch soldiers were partly to blame for the Srebrenica massacre by Serb soldiers in Bosnia, according to the Defense Ministry.

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