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UK Spies ‘Top Gay Employer’

UK Spies ‘Top Gay Employer’

Britain’s M15 domestic spy agency has been named as one of the country’s top employers of LGBT people.

The agency, which until relatively recently banned gay people as a ‘security risk’ on the grounds of blackmail, now operates a diversity policy.

It says:

We recruit people who will directly increase the skills and experience within our organisation and make it more effective. Our members of staff increasingly come from a range of backgrounds and cultures. And an in depth knowledge and understanding of a variety of communities and languages isn’t just an advantage, it is crucial for our work.

M15 has been named for the first time in the top 100 of the Equality Index, produced annually by UK LGBT group Stonewall. The Index ranks employers, most of which are large corporations and government departments and agencies, according to how ‘gay-friendly’ they are.

In the US, the Human Rights Campaign runs a similar annual Corporate Equality Index. The FBI has welcomed gay and lesbian recruits since the ‘Buttino v. FBI’ case ended the dismissal of openly gay staff in 1993.

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Picture by M.V. Jantzen

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12 comments

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12:08PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Gay and lesbian participation in espionage has a long, long history.
The Secret Services in the UK and the US have been employing individuals from the gay population since before world war I. W.Somerset Maugham was one WWI recruit and based a number of stories on this experience. His personal papers are sealed until a
future date, so sensitive was his correspondence. Ian Flemming, author of James Bond books was a friend to both Maugham and Noel Coward who also worked for the service during WW2.
It seems that the "blackmail" avantage was one that the Service found useful and a very
effective coersive tool, especially before the 1980's.

7:25PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Kind of shocking, but good to hear.

12:53PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Amazing!

9:17AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Yes a small fly in the ointment is that if you have dual nationality or have an Irish surname it is a different story.

7:41AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

great story--thanks!

5:45AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Years ago, the US military realized, without really admitting it, that gambling debts and alcohol use by heterosexual married men was the biggest threat to secrets in security agencies.

5:45AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

No surprise to people familiar with British institutions such as the BBC, Oxbridge and National Security......

5:11AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Just another POSITIVE step on the "equality" front.

3:43AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

The U.K. have come a long way since driving Alan Turing to suicide in 1954.

7:03PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

Bravo M15 , good show old chaps!

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