DEFENCE secretary Penny Mordaunt has paid tribute to the armed force’s LGBT+ community, saying she was ‘honoured’ to march alongside them during the London Pride event today.
The Portsmouth North MP joined personnel from across the three services for the parade, marching alongside them, MoD civilian staff and thousands of other people.
Speaking about the LGBT+ contribution to the forces, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The participation of our LGBT+ service personnel in the London Pride parade is a fantastic reflection and recognition of the value they bring.
‘The armed forces is an open and welcome employer, and we are absolutely committed to increasing diversity across the forces to better reflect the society we serve.
‘Today is day to thank those LGBT+ personnel who work so hard to serve their country, and I was honoured to meet and march alongside so many of you today.’
Organisers have predicted as many as 1.5 million people have turned out for the event, in what is being hailed as London’s biggest and most diverse Pride parade yet.
This year's celebration marked 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York, a moment which changed the face of the gay rights movement around the world.
Some 600 groups marched through the capital’s streets for the annual burst of colour, music and dance.
This year, all three services are featured in Stonewall’s top 100 employers for LGBT+ people, and the MoD recently announced new measures to create more modern and flexible accommodation, including allowing cohabitation of same-sex couples, in MoD properties.