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Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders admitted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender soldiers were often victims of discrimination. The three-star general is the commander of the Field Army. His comments come two years after the head of the Army promised a crackdown on bullying and sexual harassment.
Lieut Gen Sanders, the Army’s LGBT champion, says: ‘Under fire, no one cares if someone is black or white, gay or straight, because they value the individual for who he or she is, what he or she can do, and because they are so utterly dependent on him or her. But this experience is not universal. Away from the cauldron of operations or training, lazy or ingrained prejudice remains, ranging from outright bullying and discrimination, to the sort of casual but hurtful remark that refers to ice cream as “gay”.’
His comments drew criticism today from some people in the Army who felt he was exaggerating the problem. One soldier said: ‘Why focus on the LGBT community when the real problems are low morale, poor accommodation and low pay?’