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Pentagon Announces Service Members Can March in Gay Pride Parade

Pentagon Announces Service Members Can March in Gay Pride Parade

President Obama announced in July 2011 that the outdated policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that had riddled the military for decades would finally be repealed. By September of last year, service members could openly serve in the military. Now the Pentagon has announced it will allow service members to march in a gay pride parade in San Diego this year.

This move is a first for the Department of Defense, which generally never allows military uniforms to be worn in parades, much less gay pride parades. Advocate.com reports that Rene Bardorf, deputy assistant secretary of Defense wrote, “We hereby are granting approval for service members in uniform to participate in this year’s parade.”

Service members are expected to deport themselves with the standards the military sets for those who serve. They are expected to maintain an appearance of professionalism when representing the military, the Pentagon stressed.

Saturday’s gay pride parade in San Diego is an exception to a wider rule that bars military uniforms from being worn in parades. Organizers of the parade estimate that about 400 active-duty service members will be marching in the parade. That’s double the number that marched in last year’s parade.

San Diego LGBT Pride Director, Dwayne Crenshaw, lauded Thursday’s announcement, stating, “Today is a great day of Pride! San Diego Pride is honored to have the privilege of celebrating our country and our servicemembers with dignity and respect… The fight for equality is not over and it is not easy, but this is a giant leap in the right direction.

The decision is certainly one that follows in the wake of a long year of change in the military. One sailor, Sean Sala, who helped push for the exception in the parade, told the Associated Press:

I think many people thought after `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was gone, discriminatory things would be eradicated… But now these parades have become a very sticky subject as far as commanders using their own discretion because they are showing either a bias toward a pride parade, or the right view, which this is about recognizing who people are.

It appears the Pentagon agreed to this current exception because parade organizers were garnering national attention when they asked for permission for military members to march.

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43 comments

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11:07PM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

That's great to hear, thankyou!

7:54AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

In one of the Gay publications I read, Seattle Gay News - in an editorial, it stated that we should NOT be calling the opponents of Marriage Equality by such terms as "bigots", etc., that was counter-productive and would only harden their attitudes. Rather, we should try to educate, using REASON. This is a good warning for people here to heed. Those with other points-of-view don't need to be called names, have weird motives ascribed to them, etc. That is not advancing any argument.
It is better if we all keep our tempers and our patience! That raises the level of discourse rather than contributes to its decline! While often the opponents of LGBT Equality descend to the lowest level, we don't have to take the bait to follow them there.

Rose has kept to the High Road and I wish everyone on both sides would do the same!

7:46AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Rose: I am impressed with your reference to the actual historical record! and your desire to set that record straight for ACCURACY, not just to support an off-the-top-of-your-head point of view.
According to my sources, which are Gay publications and websites, this is from what I remember -- Baron von Steuben traveled around with a 17-year-old lover, and that is what got him into trouble. He did indeed have to leave Germany, but was on the verge of being prosecuted in France also, when he met Benjamin Franklin, who gave him a way out. It was, as I remember, the Church that was making things hot for the Baron. While we might consider a 17-year-old lover somewhat young, it is not uncommon in the Gay community and seems to have been a consensual relationship. I am ready to correct my viewpoint if the facts turn out differently.
But I AM impressed, that someone here is not just yelling out any old thing, but takes the trouble to actually do RESEARCH! I have respect for ALL sides, that do that! {So few do!}

Rose, if a member of your family is Gay, then you have an opportunity to learn a lot.
In one of the Gay publications I read, Seattle Gay News - in an editorial, it stated that we should NOT be calling the opponents of Marriage Equality by such terms as "bigots", etc., that was counter-productive and would only harden their attitudes. Rather, we should try to educate, using REASON. This is a good warning for people here to heed. Those with other points-of-view don't need

5:24AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Fabulous !

5:09AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Jeez........................................................................

4:31AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Equality.

3:54AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

part cut off from below:

I perceive it as fairness & equality. Besides, the 1st Amendment was written to protect free speech, especially the unpopular kind. Popular speech does not need protection! I guess we should just agree to disagree. Thanks for your thoughtful post. :)

3:53AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

@ Nyack C: "And there are plenty of heterosexuals that prey on children as well- but either way, none of it has anything to do with service members marching in the gay pride parade."

Agreed. Actually, Nyack, I was responding to another person's post. Why don't you ask BMutiny T. why she brought it up?

@ Pam W: "Rose L....I have no idea why you're so bitter and resentful of a simple step toward progress for homosexuals in our society."

Pam, I'm neither bitter nor resentful. I just believe in equality. Ask my gay son his opinion!

@ Timothy W: "The soldier marching in a Gay Pride Parade is marching to show pride in himself, and to show others that there are proud gay soldiers. A soldier marching in a anti gay parade would be marching to display bigotry and hatred against someone else."

I respect your opinion, Timothy. But IMHO, a soldier should be proud to be just a soldier! No matter what his or her sexual preference. But as long as one soldier is allowed to march in a gay pride parade, then another soldier should have the same freedom to march for what he or she believes in, even if it isn't a popular thing to do. You infer that the 2nd type of soldier is marching to "display bigotry and hatred against someone else", but we cannot rightly judge their motive; he or she may simply be standing up for what they believe in with no hatred or bigotry whatsoever. I perceive it as fairness & equality. Besides, the 1st Amendment was written to protect free speech, es

3:40AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

I'm so delighted with President Obama. I hope people see past the Republican rhetoric of hate and divisiveness and vote him back in with a resounding majority.

9:27PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Rose L.
The difference between marching in a Gay Pride parade and Marching in a anti Gay parade is simple. The soldier marching in a Gay Pride Parade is marching to show pride in himself, and to show others that there are proud gay soldiers. A soldier marching in a anti gay parade would be marching to display bigotry and hatred against someone else

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