Feeds

Gay Naval officer faces keelhauling

Mr Gay UK contender ordered to withdraw

The Power of One Infographic

Richard CowellThe Navy has threatened to court martial a serving officer who is a finalist in the Mr Gay UK 2005. Richard Cowell, 25, is weapons engineer on Type-23 frigate HMS Northumberland. He's also Mr Plymouth and in the running for the UK's top gay male accolade - much to the chagrin of the Senior Service.

Cowell has been ordered to withdraw from the contest or face a keelhauling, UK tabloid the Sun reports. The paper has pulled its defence correspondent off Iraq duty to cover this most pressing of issues, apparently without effect because top Navy brass has instructed Cowell not to speak to the press.

His 18-year-old boyfriend Sean Wright, though, is not bound by military law, and declared: "The Navy say they are pro-gay but it seems that's only if you don't act it."

For its part, the Navy says it's not about gayness, stating: "It isn't appropriate for an officer to participate in any competition with a sexual theme."

Ah, that's the old nautical favourite of "find the golden rivet" well and truly consigned to walk the plank, then.

Homosexuality in the armed forces was deemed acceptable back in 2000. Prior to that, it was very seriously frowned upon, despite Winston Churchill's assertion that Britain's entire maritime tradition consisted of "rum, sodomy and the lash".

Cowell, meanwhile, is still a participant in Mr Gay UK 2005 and appears unwilling to quit. The man who wrote the Village People's In the Navy was unavailable for comment as we went to press. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.