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Pentagon to hold ‘pride’ event to honor gay, lesbian service members

Thursday, June 14, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday announced it will soon hold its first ever “pride” event to recognize gay and lesbian service members.

A spokesperson for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told LGBTQ Nation that the Secretary issued instructions to Pentagon officials to mark the celebration of Pride Month.

Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokesperson, said Panetta feels it’s important to recognize the service of gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces.

While declining to give details about what the event will be, the Pentagon said it plans to will salute its gay and lesbian service members, just as it marks other celebrations honoring racial or ethnic groups.

“We’ll share specific details as they are finalized,” Lainez said.

President Barack Obama, in his proclamation declaring June as LGBT Pride Month, acknowledged that this is the first time U.S. service members could participate in pride month celebrations since last September’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which prohibited openly gay service members

“Because we repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve their country openly, honestly, and without fear of losing their jobs because of whom they love,” the President said, in his proclamation.

In a report to Congress released in May, Panetta noted that since the repeal, there had been no impact on morale, unit cohesion or readiness. Critics of the repeal had claimed that there would have been significant detrimental affect on the armed services especially during wartime.

Since its inception in 1993, more that 13,500 members of the U.S. armed forces were discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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23 more reader comments:

  1. Great news!

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:09pm
  2. Score !

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:09pm
  3. It’s about time. This is a great idea.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:11pm
  4. Good! :)

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:11pm
  5. awesome!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:11pm
  6. wow. how far we’ve come!!! this gives me hope.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:11pm
  7. <3

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:11pm
  8. Do you really think there doing all this because they believe in it ?Answer is they only want the Gay & Lesbian Votes after that GOOD LUCK !they will reverse everything they said and did yes that means back to normal .

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:12pm
  9. Theresa U are a HATER !

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:14pm
  10. It IS iffy… it’s strange… ? but if it’s really happening then amazing! :)

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:16pm
  11. They’d have a full scale rebellion on their hands if they try taking us back to the Dark Ages.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:17pm
  12. Is Obama doing this for the gay vote? Probably. Will all that’s been accomplished get reversed? Unlikely. We’ve tried so hard to come so far; I pity anyone who tries to take this from us.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:27pm
  13. That is so awesome that those members are finally being recognized for who they are and that they don’t have to hide anymore.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:28pm
  14. to bad they will allow this, but they cant get gay marriage passed…what a crock!

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:31pm
  15. You must be nuts John if you thing this is for real wake up my friend this is all about votes, weather your gay,black or Spanish what ever it takes ( If they believe its for real good luck wake up now and smell the coffee folks)

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:35pm
  16. To Colonna: You better be kidding if you think we have any good reason to vote for Mitt Romney.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:48pm
  17. at least with obama, we have a chance. with the republicans, we don’t stand a chance. i choose hope…

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 7:51pm
  18. While I guess I’m happy at this “progress”, I can’t help but feel bad for all the transgender servicemembers who have been kicked out, especially when transgender individuals played such an instrumental role in the start of pride events all together.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:26pm
  19. Reason to vote for Romney: out him after he gets elected. (Same for all male Republicans.)

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:27pm
  20. @Theresa….if this is for the gay vote, then so be it. At least the President is doing some good. And, the President has core values. Mittens will say or do anything to get elected. He has absolutely NO integrity or core values.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:45pm
  21. This is great news! Things can only get better from here. I’m tired of anti-gay propaganda bullshit especially from ignorant Republicans. When will they realize we’ve had gay people since the beginning of time? They need to stop hating and focus on how to get our country back on track.

    Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 9:28pm
  22. Good post! Have not heard from you for awhile.

    Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012 at 4:42am
  23. honor them more by abolishing doma !

    Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012 at 5:58am