A list of the top 100 gay-friendly employers in the UK has revealed several have changed their homophobic ways and improved for the better.
The Ministry of Defence was named as the most improved company to work for in the UK.
Gay campaigning charity Stonewall chose the MoD because it had shown a ‘real commitment’ to build a gay-friendly workplace.
Until 2000, men and women were automatically dismissed if found to be gay or lesbian.
MoD archives from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s show special investigation police targeted suspected gay men and women in an official policy to ‘clean out homosexuals’.
But in 2007, Wing Commander and armed forces equalities advisor Phil Sager apologized.
‘Of course, we're sorry for anyone who's suffered personal trauma,’ he said.
‘We can't change the past and what's happened has happened.
‘But if, as I'm sure you have, you've got testimony from people who feel that their lives have been ruined from this, then clearly that is not a good place to be.’
Gay former Lance Corporal James Wharton told GSN, after ten years of being in the army (which reached number 79 on the list), he could ‘see the difference’ in how the situation for gay people has improved from when he joined to when he left.
Other former notoriously homophobic companies to work for in the UK include the fire service.
The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is the first fire service to ever reach the Stonewall top 10.
In 2009, Sadiq Khan, the Labour fire minister, wrote to fire chiefs urging them to ‘eradicate’ homophobic behavior after it emerged some gay staff routinely experienced name-calling, physical abuse and even had safety equipment tampered with as a ‘joke’.
James McKane, a gay firefighter in the Newcastle Central Community Fire Station, told The Times gay men in the service are still ‘quite rare’.
‘I joined as a closet gay but I soon realised this was an organisation where you could be yourself and I came out within four or five months,’ he said.
‘It was all still new to me, but I felt enough support with such a great bunch of guys, it seemed the natural thing to do.’
Richard Lane, Stonewall’s Media Manager, said: ‘The Ministry Defence, as with most of the top performers in the Top 100, have shown a real commitment from the very top down to building gay friendly workplaces.
‘They’ve committed to supporting openly-gay role models at all levels as well as LGBT network groups.
‘All of these actions means that they’ve made real strives forward this year for their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.’
Check out the full top 100 list below:
2 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
3 The Co-operative
5 = EY
5 = Home Office
8 = Simmons & Simmons
8 = Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service
11 = Leicestershire County Council
11 = National Assembly for Wales
11 = St Mungo's
14 Morgan Stanley
15 = Bristol City Council
15 = Derbyshire County Council
15 = Lloyds Banking Group
18 Environment Agency
19 = Baker & McKenzie LLP
19 = London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
19 = North Wales Police
19 = South Wales Police
23 Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
25 = Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service
25 = Liverpool John Moores University
25 = Newcastle City Council
25 = The Security Service (MI5)
29 Leicestershire Police
30 = CMS Cameron McKenna
30 = Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service
30 = Herbert Smith Freehills
30 = Your Homes Newcastle
34 Department of Health
35 = Crown Prosecution Service
35 = Hogan Lovells
35 = Ministry of Defence
35 = Office for National Statistics
35 = University of the West of England
40 Royal Bank of Scotland Group
41 = Cheshire Constabulary
41 = Creative Skillset
41 = London Borough of Waltham Forest
44 Tower Hamlets Homes
45 = Department for Work and Pensions
45 = Derby City Council
45 = Eversheds LLP
45 = Genesis Housing Association
45 = Pinsent Masons
45 = West Yorkshire Probation Trust
51 Action for Children
52 = Cardiff University
52 = Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
54 = Bury Council
54 = Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
54 = PwC
57 University of Liverpool
58 = Irwin Mitchell Solicitors
58 = London Borough of Tower Hamlets
58 = Suffolk Constabulary
61 = Suffolk County Council
64 West Sussex County Council
65 Clydesdale Bank
66 = Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
66 = Hertfordshire County Council
66 = Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
66 = London Borough of Hackney
66 = London Borough of Islington
66 = Norton Rose Fulbright
72 = Land Registry
72 = Northumbria Probation Trust
72 = South Tyneside Homes
72 = Victim Support
76 = Core Assets Group
76 = Leeds City Council
76 = Transport for London
79 = The Army
79 = Royal Navy
79 = Tate
82 = Newham College of Further Education
82 = Sheffield City Council
82 = Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
82 = University of Sheffield
86 = Nationwide Building Society
86 = Nottingham City Homes
90 American Express
91 = Aviva
91 = Birmingham City Council
91 = Somerset College
91 = Sussex Police
91 = Touchstone
96 = Citizens Advice
96 = County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust
96 = Dyfed Powys Police
96 = Plus Dane Group
100 Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust