20 years since removal of restrictions on homosexual members
23 November 2012
Today marks 20 years since the cancellation of the Defence Instruction on Homosexual Behaviour in the Australian Defence Force that prevented homosexual citizens from serving in the military.
On 24 November 1992, then Prime Minister Paul Keating announced the ban on homosexuals in the ADF would be lifted.
The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley said the decision to remove the ban marked an important step in the evolution of the ADF's diversity policies and practices.
"Diversity is an asset and I am proud of the changes which have occurred within the Australian Defence Force over the past 20 years," said General Hurley.
"It is important to give all ADF members the same access to the range of service benefits regardless of their sexual orientation or gender."
Defence is working on a number of new initiatives including an Ambassador Network and a Diversity Strategy to further enhance and support the ADF workforce. In addition Air Force has recently introduced a Diversity Handbook for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual members, and Defence will look to roll this out to the rest of the organisation.
"My goal is for the Australian Defence Force to be recognised as a just, inclusive and fair minded organisation that reflects the community it serves," said General Hurley.
"We value our people and aim to support, enable and encourage everyone to achieve a rewarding and enduring military career."