In a nutshell
A vote on whether homosexuals should be allowed to join the armed forces. MPs had liberty to vote according to their conscience.
On 9th May 1996 the House of Commons debated an amendment to the Armed Forces Bill which would have allowed people living a homosexual lifestyle to serve in the armed forces.The amendment stated that: “No person who is subject to military law shall be subject to any investigation, disciplinary proceedings or discharge solely on the ground of his or her sexual orientation, whether that person has a heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or lesbian orientation.”1
The amendment was defeated by 122 votes to 190.
Subsequently, in January 2000, Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, approved a new code of conduct allowing those with a homosexual lifestyle to serve in the armed forces.2
How we recorded the vote
- Voted against removing the ban on homosexuals joining the armed forces
- Voted for removing the ban on homosexuals joining the armed forces
- Abstained or was absent on the vote for removing the ban on homosexuals joining the armed forces