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UK PM Sunak apologises for ‘horrific’ abuse of LGBT in military

LONDON: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday made a formal apology for the “horrific” historic treatment of LGBT people who served in the military when homosexuality was banned.

“The ban on LGBT people serving in our military until the year 2000 was an appalling failure of the British state, decades behind the law of this land,” Sunak told the House of Commons.

“In that period many endured the most horrific sexual abuse and violence, homophobic bullying and harassment, all while bravely serving this country,” he added.

“Today, on the behalf of the British state, I apologise.” The prime minister said he hoped those affected would now “feel proud parts of the veteran community that has done so much to keep our country safe”.

The apology was prompted by the findings of a government-commissioned independent review into LGBT veterans who served between 1967 and 2000.

The report detailed “shocking evidence of a culture of homophobia, and of bullying, blackmail and sexual assaults, abusive investigations into sexual orientation and sexual preference, disgraceful medical examinations, including conversion therapy”.

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