February 20, 2005

Rum, sodomy, and the lash redux

"A New Course by Royal Navy: A Campaign to Recruit Gays," reports Sara Lyall in the NYT:

LONDON, Feb. 21 - Five years after Britain lifted its ban on gays in the military, the Royal Navy has begun actively encouraging them to enlist and has pledged to make life easier when they do.

The navy announced Monday that it had asked Stonewall, a group that lobbies for gay rights, to help it develop better strategies for recruiting and retaining gay men and lesbians. It said, too, that one strategy may be to advertise for recruits in gay magazines and newspapers...

The new effort continues a pattern of changing official attitudes in the navy - once derided as running on rum, sodomy and the lash, in a phrase usually attributed to Winston Churchill.

Uh, Sarah, I'm not sure how best to break this to you, but "rum, sodomy, and the lash" appears to be the Royal Navy's new official attitude toward what future British tars are expected to be engaged in below decks.

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