Military Promotes Gay Pride Month; Directives Sent to Commands

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. military is embracing a celebration of homosexuals in the ranks this month by sending out a gay pride poster and a directive to commands, while planning a Pentagon symposium that will be attended by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

In the aftermath of ending the ban on open gays in the military, the Pentagon last June recognized Gay Pride Month for the first time in a subdued recognition of uniformed and civilian gays. As defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta gave a public statement, and a Pentagon event featured an active-duty gay Marine, a gay Air Force civilian lawyer and a lesbian who had served in the Army.

Pride month is low-key again this year. The Pentagon has handed off planning for the event to DOD Pride, an organization of gay military and civilian employees. Directives that have been issued do not say commands must hold similar celebrations.

“Secretary Hagel looks forward to participating in this year’s DOD Pride event at the Pentagon on Tuesday, June 25 to celebrate LGBT Pride Month,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

“Secretary Hagel is also looking forward to welcoming [senior White House adviser] Valerie Jarrett to the Pentagon, who will represent President Obama in delivering the keynote address at the event,” Mr. Little said.

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