Existing rules state homosexuality is incompatible with military service and engaging in a homosexual act can constitute grounds for discharging a member of the armed forces.
As such it has been ignored in practice since 2000, yet technically remains in force.
The Government amendment to get rid of the sexuality discrimination laws was added to the Bill unopposed.
The Bill, which also deals with changes to armed forces pensions, will now proceed to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.
The Government amendment to get rid of the ‘sexuality discrimination’ laws was added to the Bill
Mr Lancaster said it was government policy that homosexuality was “incompatible with service in the armed forces” and therefore people who “engaged in homosexual activity were administratively discharged”.
Since 2000, he said the rules “have had no practical effect and they are therefore redundant”.
“We are proud in defence of the progress we have made since 2000 to remove policies that discriminated against homosexual men, lesbians and transgender personnel so that they can serve openly in the armed forces.”
“This amendment is a practical step which shows that this Government is serious about our commitment to equality in this area.”
“It is very clear that this is an important step forward and it is one we welcome very strongly.”