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US Military Holds First Ever Pride Celebration

US Military Holds First Ever Pride Celebration

 

The U.S. military has for the first time in its history celebrated LGBT Pride Month with a ceremony this week attended by military leaders and both former and current servicemembers.

Reports the San Francisco Chronicle:

For the first time in its straight-laced history, the Pentagon celebrated “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month,” a stunning cultural milestone that officially recognizes what has always been true – that gays and lesbians serve inside its fortress-like walls and the rest of America’s armed forces.

The ceremony, which was broadcast on an internal TV network to U.S. military bases around the world, was sober and strict – from the rhythmic “hut, hut, hut” of the color guard marching into the auditorium, to pre-taped videos from President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Straight-laced it may have been, but Obama and Panetta’s words did serve to highlight how much of a milestone this post-DADT event truly was.

Reports On Top Magazine:

“Before the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ you faithfully served your country with professionalism and courage. And just like your fellow service members, you put your country before yourself,” said Panetta. “And now after repeal you can be proud of serving your country and be proud of who you are when in uniform.”

“Change never happens on its own. Change happens because ordinary people, countless unsung heroes of our American story, stand up and demand it,” said Obama. “The story of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans is no different. As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, we remember the activists and advocates who refused to be treated like second-class citizens.”

It is worth noting that while President Obama included transgender servicemembers in his Pride speech, trans members of the military cannot yet serve openly as they could face discharge under separate provisions.

General Counsel Jeh Johnson delivered the keynote address at the event, taking time to recount all the work that went on behind the scenes to make the DADT repeal a reality.

Reports OutServe:

Johnson, as one of the co-leads of the Comprehensive Working Group who wrote the report concluding that there would be no impact on military readiness, shared behind-the-scenes insights leading to repeal.

“The military members who worked side-by-side with me started off skeptics,” said Johnson, but their opinions shifted over the 10-month study as the group found that much of the preconceived notions were based on misperceptions and stereotypes, he said.

Repeal has been implemented “Better than anticipated,” he said. “We hope this process continues in the professional and sober manner it has taken since last year.”

Johnson is reported to have also said that while the DOD cannot extend full spousal benefits to military couples because of the Defense of Marriage Act, they are working to give same-sex military families more of the rights and benefits enjoyed by their straight counterparts.

 

Related Reading:

Senators Urge Panetta To Help DADT Discharged Veterans

Six Months After DADT Repeal Sky Still Not Falling

Gay Airman Discharged Under DADT Reinstated

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to the US Army Photostream.

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13 comments

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1:26PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

that is great...the military also has a women military day...so what..the military intel are still a bunch of filthy rapists of women...

10:45AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

THAT type of pride is generally typical of service members (whether you agree with them or not). This LGBT Pride Month was to mark a historic change in regs/policy, to at least give the semblance of equal rights in the military. Never gonna really happen, but it's a step forward.

10:10AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

The US Military (gay or not) takes a whole lot more pride in the fact that it has fought and died for your liberty and security than because it has some gay members...

9:52AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

"PRIDE? For murdering women in other nations? Pride in the slaughter of families? Pride in the most odious evil acts a human can commit? What is wrong with you people?"

Ummm, pardon me for interupting your rants, but this article is about LGBT Pride, not War Pride. We have a military, as do most countries. This LGBT Pride month was to mark the strides we've made in a VERY testosterone-driven institution.

BTW, I've read "War Is a Racket" and I agree with much that you said....but that has nothing to do with the LGBT advances we've made. You changed the entire meaning of what the Pride month was marking.

6:15PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

fascism is the marriage of the government and corporations...That is the epitome of america today....Include militarism to it and you have a nightmare that kills and violates principles that was once the foundation of this nation...Its called rot,decay,corruption,,the citizens of this nation have been duped, bamboozled,used and abused to send a polluted flag and disgraced musket overseas to steal rob and plunder...War is a Racket!!! Read it and open your eyes..If only for the victims of your fascist military...

6:09PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

nyack you don't recognize the symbolism? america is a fascist empire now that has its filthy military in 171 countries with over a thousand military bases. Your supreme court just put the final nail in the coffin by allowing corporations not just be labeled as individuals but can now spend as much as they want on elections. You as an individual,as a proletariat,as a citizen have virtually no power any more and for you not to see this is most odious and more proof of this nations demise...All men are created 'equal'? Than that means all PEOPLE are equal and must be treated as equals but that is not true today as it was not true yesterday...Blacks,women, Indians were not considered 'equal',were they? Are they today? If you believe America is 'exceptional' and the best is this contradictory to this premise? Hypocritical? As troopers kill and murder people all over the world how does this coincide with these beliefs? Your rights as an american are being stripped one by one until we have virtually none left. We are the east Europeans of the 70's and its people like you who have allowed it to happen are the people to blame...Your living in an artificial environment that is bubbled by cognitive dissonance much as the most who live in fantasy...Your support for the military,your taxes are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity and that is most disgusting and idiotic...Time to wake up,grow up and see what the hell is going on folks....

10:35AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Maybe they can form a circle, so the man in front can have some too!

8:45AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Marvelous for the LGBTQ in the military!

7:52AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Truly amazing. I guess at times if you point the military in the right direction good things can indeed happen.

7:38AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Pride? For war ho's? For war prostitutes? For hired guns paid to kill people who've never done them any harm in lands not their own? Pride in bombing villages? Pride in slaughtering CHILDREN? Pride is a flaw,not a virtue, go ask Jesus what one should take pride in....

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