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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
European Court compensates British gays

The European Court of Human Rights has awarded damages to four former members of the British armed forces who were dismissed for being homosexual.

The court gave the three men and one woman a total of nearly five-hundred-thousand dollars in compensation.

Last year, it ruled that enquiries into their sexuality by British military authorities violated the right to privacy.

Britain has said it will abide by the ruling, although it had argued gays in the military undermined discipline and team-work essential to military efficiency. The right to respect for private and family life is enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.

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