WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will speak at the Pentagon’s Pride event next Tuesday, June 25, honoring gay and lesbian service members.
A Pentagon spokesman told LGBTQ Nation on Wednesday that “Secretary Hagel looks forward to participating in this year’s DoD Pride event,” which is being organized by a group of Defense Department service members and civilians to celebrate LGBT Pride Month.
“Secretary Hagel believes that the open service of gays and lesbians make our armed forces stronger and that this month’s DoD Pride event is just one way we honor what these service members and LGBT civilians do for our country,” said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.
This is the second LGBT Pride event hosted by the Pentagon following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the former ban on openly gay service members.
Hagel will be the first Secretary to address the Pride event in person; former Defense Secreatry Leon Panetta addressed last year’s event via a video message.
Senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett will represent the Obama administration, and deliver a keynote address on behalf of the President.