The UK and US compared When the UK took the step of allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the armed forces 10 years ago, public opinion was in favour but the armed forces themselves were not. Although the judges in the High Court and Court of Appeal said that they felt the ban was not justified they could not overturn it and Stonewall had to take the case to Strasbourg and the European Court of Human Rights before winning it. British Army and Royal Air Force personnel could march but had to wear civilian clothes until , now all military personnel are permitted to attend Gay Pride marches  in uniform. Other landmarks of the last few years include: In a speech to the conference in , the first of its kind by any Army chief, General Sir Richard said that respect for gays, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexual officers and soldiers was now "a command responsibility" and was vital for "operational effectiveness". The Royal Navy advertises for recruits in gay magazines and has allowed gay sailors to hold civil partnership ceremonies on board ships and, since , to march in full naval uniform at a gay pride marches.