DOD Produces Special Poster for Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Pride
(CNSNews.com) - On Tuesday, June 25, the U.S. Defense Department will give special recognition to "gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers"--as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civilian workers--for their "dedicated service to our country."
And this year, "Pride Month" at the Defense Department comes with a poster:
The red, white and blue poster -- designed for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute located at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida -- includes the followiong quotation from President Barack Obama:
"For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America's promise to all our citizens. Armed Forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans."
OutServe-SLDN, an advocacy group for LGBT military personnel, called it "appropriate and gratifying" that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is following the precedent set in 2012 when then-Secretary Leon Panetta hosted the Pentagon's first LGBT Pride Month.
But the group isn't happy that the DOD memorandum announcing Tuesday's Pride event for gays, lesbians and bisexuals did not mention transgenders in uniform:
"While acknowledging transgender civilian DOD employees, the memorandum notably omits any mention of the contributions of transgender people in uniform -– presumably because transgender people remain barred from service by outdated and obsolete medical regulations.
“Transgender people have served this nation with pride, honor, and distinction –- and continue to do so in the hundreds, if not thousands. It’s past time to honor them for their service and sacrifice, and past time to end the discredited and obsolete practice of forcing them to serve in silence and fear,” said Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson in a news release issued earlier this month.
LGBT Pride Month is celebrated each June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that erupted after a police raid on a gay bar.
Tomorrow, the Defense Department will celebrate the December 22, 2010 repeal of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Homosexuals have been allowed to openly serve in the U.S. military since September 20, 2011.
White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett will give the keynote address.