Once clubby UK spy service campaigns to hire gays

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's domestic spy agency is looking for a few good lesbians and gays to join the service.

MI-5 is now asking gays to consider careers as spies. It had shunned them for decades due to worries over blackmail. The agency is promising the chance to fight terrorists, protect the country, and earn a decent salary.

A London-based gay rights activist says the move is long overdue. Peter Tatchell says gay people were thought to be vulnerable to blackmail, even if they were open about their sexuality.

MI-5 has already been wooing women, minorities and people with language skills as part of an ongoing recruitment drive.

MI-6, which collects foreign intelligence, is also encouraging applications from women and minorities.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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