MOD internal inquiries in to why and how they attempted to mislead ministers, parliament, the courts, and the public in the 1990’s

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

My reference: LSM/FOI/120924/22

Background. In 1995 the Homosexuality Policy Assessment Team (“HPAT”) was established by the Ministry of Defence in order to undertake an internal assessment of the armed forces’ policy on homosexuality. In the case of Smith and Grady v. the United Kingdom, The European Court of Human Rights observed:

‘The focus throughout the assessment was upon the anticipated effects on fighting power and this was found to be the “key problem” in integrating homosexuals into the armed forces. It was considered well-established that the presence of known or strongly suspected homosexuals in the armed forces would produce certain behavioural and emotional responses and problems which would affect morale and, in turn, significantly and negatively affect the fighting power of the armed forces. These anticipated problems included controlling homosexual behaviour and heterosexual animosity, assaults on homosexuals, bullying and harassment of homosexuals, ostracism and avoidance, “cliquishness” and pairing, leadership and decision-making problems including allegations of favouritism, discrimination and ineffectiveness (but excluding the question of homosexual officers taking tactical decisions swayed by sexual preference), sub-cultural friction, privacy/decency issues, increased dislike and suspicions (polarised relationships), and resentment over imposed change especially if controls on heterosexual expression also had to be tightened…’

‘…Perceived problems which were identified in the HPAT report as a threat to the fighting power and operational effectiveness of the armed forces were founded solely upon the negative attitudes of heterosexual personnel towards those of homosexual orientation… these attitudes, even if sincerely felt by those who expressed them, ranged from stereotypical expressions of hostility to those of homosexual orientation, to vague expressions of unease about the presence of homosexual colleagues. To the extent that they represent a predisposed bias on the part of a heterosexual majority against a homosexual minority, these negative attitudes [could not], of themselves, be considered by the Court to amount to sufficient justification for the interferences with the applicants’ rights outlined above, any more than similar negative attitudes towards those of a different race, origin or colour.’

In January 2000, the MOD removed the ban on homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces.


Further to s1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

a. In October 2000 the MOD analysed the effect of removing the ban on homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces, in a document entitled ‘A Review of the Armed Forces Policy on Homosexuality’, dated 31 Oct 00. Please provide a copy of this document.

b. Please provide a copy of all other reviews conducted since January 2000 in to i) the effects of permitting homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces, and ii) policies and operation of the code of social conduct and service test (which replaced the ban).

c. 12 years after the ban on homosexuals was lifted, does the MOD position remain that homosexuality is incompatible with military service?

i) If yes, please provide all analyses to this effect.

ii) If no, the MOD has performed an absolute volte-face from the position which it dogmatically and robustly asserted to parliament, the courts and the public in the 1990’s. Please release all the minutes of all MOD meetings, and the results of all MOD inquiries, which examined how it was that the MOD attempted to mislead ministers, parliament, the courts, and the public. If, however, MOD has not conducted any internal inquiries in to why and how they attempted to mislead ministers, parliament, the courts, and the public, please confirm this.

My preferred format to receive this information is by electronic means. If one part of this request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need any clarification of this request please feel free to email me. If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests.

I note that under s16 of the Act, it is the MOD's duty to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the department to do so, to persons who make requests for information to it. Accordingly, if the MOD considers attempting to block release of information under s12 of the Act (exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit), please a) provide a breakdown of costs, and b) explain what information *would* be releasable within the appropriate limit according to the department's purported calculations. I would, in that situation, apply for internal review, and ultimately apply for decision by the Information Commissioner, per s50 of the Act.

I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.


L Mowday


1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Mowday,
The response to FOI 25-09-2012-113314-002 is attached.

Defence Personnel Secretariat, Ministry of Defence | MOD Main Building |
Whitehall | London | SW1A 2HB

Gadawodd L Mowday anodiad ()

Many thanks to the MOD for their assistance with this request, the results of which are most informative.