Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hello, Sailor

From the New York Times:

Five years after Britain lifted its ban on gays in the military, the Royal Navy has begun actively encouraging them to enlist and has pledged to make life easier when they do.

The navy announced Monday that it had asked Stonewall, a group that lobbies for gay rights, to help it develop better strategies for recruiting and retaining gay men and lesbians. It said, too, that one strategy may be to advertise for recruits in gay magazines and newspapers.

Commodore Paul Docherty, director of naval life management, said the service wanted to change the atmosphere so that gays would feel comfortable working there.

“While some gays were confident to come out, others didn’t feel that the environment was necessarily accepting of them,” Commodore Docherty said in an interview.

The partnership with Stonewall, Commodore Docherty said, will help “make more steps toward improving the culture and attitude within the service as a whole, so gays who are still in the closet feel that much more comfortable about coming out.”

So that’s what Gilbert and Sullivan meant by “the queen’s navy…”