US Defense Department honors gay pride

US Defense Department celebrates June as Gay Pride Month

US Defense Department honors gay pride
16 June 2012 Print This Article

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta released a video celebrating gay pride and the contributions of LGBT troops.

‘The successful repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" proved to the nation that, just like the country we defend, we share different backgrounds, different values and different beliefs,’ Panetta said. ‘But together we form the greatest military force in the world.’

The official message was the first time the Department of Defense recognized Gay Pride Month. For 18 years, gay and lesbian troops served under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That policy, which started in 1993, barred discrimination of gay troops, but also kept military personnel from being out. According to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a non-profit that works with LGBT sailors, soldiers and airmen, approximately 14,500 troops have been discharged under DADT.

‘A year ago, our brave gay and lesbian service members were still serving in silence due to the discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law,’ said SLDN’s executive director Aubrey Sarvis in a press release. ‘Today, in this historic message, Secretary Panetta has affirmed their invaluable contributions to our nation’s military and in doing so, shined a bright light on how far we have progressed toward full LGBT equality in our military.’

As reported by the Army Times. the Pentagon has a history of celebrating diversity.

‘Hallway displays and activities, for example, have marked Black History Month and Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month,’ the newspaper noted.

Although the repeal of DADT repeal has brought changes few could have imagined, out students at military academies, the new environment has not impacted the armed forces’ bottom line. In a May press conference Panetta noted LGBT troops serving openly is ‘not impacting on morale. It’s not impacting on unit cohesion. It is not impacting on readiness. Very frankly, my view is that the military has kind of moved beyond it. It’s become part and parcel of what they’ve accepted within the military.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

OTHER POSTS

No thumbnail available

White House orders Justice Department to see how DOMA decision impacts federal benefits

US Justice Department trying to decide new rules for a post-Defense of Marriage Act world
No thumbnail available

Nine year old leaves Cub Scouts due to its LGBT policy

Nine-year-old is done with the Cub Scouts because of its LGBT ruling
No thumbnail available

London Olympics committee backs Pride House

LOCOG supports gay sports event in UK capital during London 2012 Olympic Games
No thumbnail available

Judge rules Colorado bakery discriminated against gay couple

In ruling, Colorado Office of Administrative Courts judge points out the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop once made a wedding cake for two dogs
No thumbnail available

Council of Europe meet in landmark discussion on gay rights

Russia attends gay equality conference after enacting hate law
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

The Dr Oz Show under fire for ex-gay reparative therapy episode

GLAAD, GLSEN and PFLAG believe program provided a 'lengthy platform for junk science'
No thumbnail available

What's it like to work in the Middle East as a gay person?

Would you ever consider relocating to the Middle East for work purposes? And is the situation different for gay people who move there as opposed to nationals?
No thumbnail available

Husband of veteran Canadian politician George Smitherman is found dead

Christopher Peloso had suffered from depression; he and Smitherman had three kids
No thumbnail available

A Christian gran’s crazy ideas for anti-gay books for kids

Grandmother demands libraries stock books that don’t exist to balance literature supporting LGBTI families