US military allowed to wear uniforms at gay pride

Gay and lesbian members of the military will be able to show their pride at San Diego

US military allowed to wear uniforms at gay pride
20 July 2012

The US military have for the first time allowed gay men and women to wear their uniforms at Pride, an unthinkable act nine months ago.

Permission was granted the Gay Pride Parade in San Diego, California, on Saturday (21 July).

San Diego Pride Executive Director Dwayne Crenshaw called it a historic moment.

He said: ‘San Diego Pride is honored to have the privilege of celebrating our country and our service members 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.’

A military wide memo from the Pentagon comes after the 18 year long ban on gays and lesbians serving openly.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Rene Bardorf said: ‘Based on our current knowledge of the event and current policies, we hereby are granting approval for service members in uniform to participate in this year’s parade.’

In previous years, personnel have worn t-shirts to show their military pride.

Count Army Spec. Brenna Saldana told U-T San Diego she will be attending the 150,000 strong event, and proud to be wearing her uniform.

She said: ‘No one gets deployed in just a T-shirt. No one gets to fight for our country in just a T-shirt. No one is recognized as an American service member as easily in a T-shirt.

‘We’re loud and proud, and I think these uniforms are very loud and allow us to be very proud.’

Last year, Saldana felt she had the weight ‘of everyone who has ever lived and served a gay service member’ on her shoulders. On Saturday, the sense of purpose will only be stronger.

She said: ‘If all of this was happening right before I was about to sign my contract, I would be so jazzed, especially as a lesbian soldier.

‘Not only are these people fighting for our country and for our freedom, but they’re fighting for their own basic civil rights, and that just shows me that a soldier is a fighter through and through.

‘It doesn’t matter what the mission, what the task, what the fight.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Football player Twitter abuse victim fights back with gay 'friendly'

Friendly matches held between supporters and LGBT clubs raising awareness of homophobia in UK football as Euro 2012 fears continue
No thumbnail available

Alabama: Lesbian lawmaker threatens to out affairs of anti-gay colleagues

'I will not allow legislators to talk about "family values" when they have affairs'
Leslie Jordan says he'd never been so scared in his life when he threw iced tea at homophobe

Leslie Jordan says he'd never been so scared in his life when he threw iced tea at homophobe

'I should have let the cops - the minute it happened - just let the cops handle it'
No thumbnail available

US shrinks say trans no longer 'mental illness'

American Psychiatric Association removes transgender from mental illness category after years of LGTB lobbying
No thumbnail available

'You're making Ellen sad': The best gay marriage signs

Gay marriage debate finds its sense of humor with protest placards that think outside the box
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres jokes about the pros and cons about being the next Oscar host

Con: 'It's going to take 45 minutes to dance through all those aisles'
No thumbnail available

Federal judge with 'hands full' to rule on challenge to Utah's gay marriage ban in early 2014

Ruling by Judge Robert J Shelby will be first on a state ban since the Supreme Court struck down part of Defense of Marriage Act
LGBTI community rallies in Delhi, calls for repeal of anti-gay law

LGBTI community rallies in Delhi, calls for repeal of anti-gay law

The protest comes just days after Subramanian Swamy, a leader of the Hindu-nationalist BJP party, called homosexuality a 'genetic disorder' and that 'homos are genetically handicapped'
No thumbnail available

Putin: ‘We will improve gay laws in Russia’

On a visit to Vienna, the Russian president said he will look at the homophobic legislation and 'improve' it in the future
No thumbnail available

Star of NBC's Parks and Recreation wonders how anyone could be against gay marriage

Aziz Ansari: 'You know you’re on the wrong side of things'