CLAIMS made earlier today that all links directing visitors on the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) website to its LGBTI diversity and inclusion information have been removed were rejected by the department.

Controversial former Katter’s Australian Party Queensland candidate Bernard Gaynor — who was charged by the ADF for comments he made about Islam and the force’s participation in the 2013 Mardi Gras — took to social media this morning claiming victory is his ongoing campaign against LGBTI inclusion efforts by the ADF.

“Great news! Defence has removed all reference to the Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS) from its webpages. It is a significant victory,” Gaynor posted on Facebook.

A quick search for the DEFGLIS on the ADF’s website does result in an error message but the force has refuted Gaynor’s claims, saying that their website has just been redesigned.

“Defence has redesigned its website but has not removed any content,” an ADF spokesperson told the Star Observer.

“Information relating to the LGBTI community is now on the Diversity and Inclusion page, which can be found at: www.defence.gov.au/CODE/

“If a broken link is discovered, users are asked to inform Defence via the feedback mechanism on the site so it can be fixed.”

The ADF also reiterated its firm commitment to inclusion and diversity within the organisation on their website:

“Defence is committed to having a diverse workforce and inclusive workplaces. Defence strives to make the most of the skills and talents of all personnel and aims to reap the capability benefits of having a diverse workforce through embracing and supporting all personnel, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons.

“Defence seeks to create an inclusive workplace by driving long term sustainable LGBTI awareness and support structures, and continues to support the employment and inclusion of this diversity group through the following specific actions.”

Speaking as a private citizen, DEFGLIS president Vince Chong told the Star Observer that the organisation continued to work with the ADF to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of its members.

“DEFGLIS remains committed to working closely with Defence to achieve a shared vision of an inclusive and cohesive fighting force, and a culture that embraces diverse people working effectively together to produce results,” Chong said.

“Given that shared vision, I am confident of a continuing strong working relationship between DEFGLIS and Defence and continuing effort to provide support for LGBTI personnel and their families.”

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