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‘Wrong’: MI6 top spy apologises for discrimination against gays

London: The chief of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service has publicly apologised for historic discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people in the spy agencies.

The country decriminalised homosexual acts between men in 1967, but its spy agencies refused to hire gay, lesbian and transgender officers until 1991 because they believed they would be susceptible to blackmail.

The British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6’s headquarters at Vauxhall Cross in London

The British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6’s headquarters at Vauxhall Cross in LondonCredit:Getty Images

“Until 1991, being openly LGBT+ in MI6 would cause you to lose your job or prevent you from being allowed to join in the first place,” said Richard Moore, chief, or C, of the Secret Intelligence Agency (SIS).

“Committed, talented, public-spirited people had their careers and lives blighted because it was argued that being LGBT+ was incompatible with being an intelligence professional,” Moore said. “This was wrong, unjust and discriminatory.”

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