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Radiographers leading fight for LGBT armed forces personnel who lost pension rights

05 September 2018

TUC Conference motion spotlights ongoing discrimination against LGBT servicemen and women who were dishonourably discharged

A motion from the Society of Radiographers (SoR) at this year’s Trades Union Congress (9-12 September in Manchester), calls for members to support a campaign to reinstate pension rights to service personnel who were dishonourably discharged from the armed forces because of their sexual orientation.

Until January 2000, members of the services who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender were dishonourably discharged and lost their pension rights.

“It beggars belief that it took so long to bring an end to this blatant discrimination, and a disgrace that we had to wait for the European Court of Human Rights to rule that discharging members of the armed forces on the grounds of their sexuality was illegal,” said Chris Kalinka, the Society’s Vice-President.

“This motion calls for a campaign to restore the pensions earnt by those who were treated in this way. The SoR, as well as many other trades unions, had members serving in one capacity or another in the armed forces and we owe it to them to put this right,” he continued.

“We can look back with pride at the role the TUC has played on the road to achieving equality and justice for all but there is still work to do, and our motion highlights one such injustice that remains untouched.”


Notes for Editor

1. TUC Motion 39: Armed forces and LGBT – dishonourable discharge Previous to the European Court of Human Rights ruling in January 2000, radiographers and others who were gay and engaged by the Armed Forces received a dishonourable discharge from the service with the loss of their pension rights. This discrimination and injustice is unfair, has to be rectified and cannot continue. Congress calls on the General Council to support all efforts to open a dialogue with the Ministry of Defence to reinstate the pension rights to all who received a dishonourable discharge from the armed forces for their sexuality. 2. The Society of Radiographers is the trade union and professional body for radiographers and all non-medical members of the workforce in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy in the UK. It is responsible for their professional, educational, public and workplace interests.
 3. The TUC Congress 2018 takes place from Sunday, 9 September-Wednesday, 12 September, Manchester Central Convention Complex. For further information please contact Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238, email

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