The US military will salute gay troops by holding its first ever pride event, just months after repealing the notorious ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.
Details of the celebrations are still being ironed out, but the Pentagon’s announcement to mark gay pride month in June has been seen by activists as a sign of how rapidly the Defence Department is changing, reported the Associated Press.
‘I don’t think it’s just moving along smoothly, I think it’s accelerating faster than we even thought the military would as far as progress goes,’ said Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried.
The finance officer and co-director of OutServe, a once clandestine group for LGBT military personnel, told AP that there has been increased acceptance among the forces.
He said: ‘We are seeing such tremendous progress in how much the military is accepting us, but not only that — in how much the rank and file is now understanding the inequality that’s existing right now.’
The Pentagon pride will come just nine months after the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, which banned gay and lesbians to service openly, was dropped.
However, a poll in March revealed that 69% of the active duty personnel surveyed felt no impact by the historic changes and still felt unable to be open about their sexuality.