While the top brass presented the Norwegian Navy’s participation in the Pride movement as a token of openness, tolerance, and diversity, it sparked a rather mixed reaction on social media.
For the very first time, a rainbow flag was waved from a Norwegian military vessel, as the Royal Navy made its debut in a gay Pride parade.
Overall, the Norwegian Navy contributed a total of seven ships, including the submarine chaser KNM Hitra, the patrol vessel KV Tor, the support vessel KNM Olav Tryggvasson, and school vessels the Kvarven and the Nordnes to the boat Pride parade in Bergen. The commander of the Norwegian Navy, Rune Andersen, also participated, as did Tone Størksen, the head of the navy’s bases at Haakonsvern and Ramsund.
Andersen ventured that while the Armed Forces have been characterised by a male-dominated and masculine environment, tolerance and respect for the LGBTQ community in its ranks have increased.
“I think a lot that has already changed, but there is still a way to go. That is why it is important that we clearly win by participating in such a celebration”, Andersen said.
Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen and Chief of Defence Eirik Kristoffersen emphasised in a special statement that “being who you are and being able to love who you want is a human right”. “For us, it is a matter of course that the defence sector wholeheartedly supports Pride”, they said in a statement.
Bergen Mayor Marte Mjøs Persen of the Labour Party praised the organisers.