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Saturday, July 21, 2012

"We're Just Living the Constitution": Uniformed Troops in Pride Parade

For the first time ever, gay servicemembers marched in uniform at San Diego Gay Pride today, with the specific blessing of the Defense Department.

The Associated Press reports:
In a memorandum sent to all its branches this year, the Defense Department said it was making the allowance for the San Diego event even though its policy generally bars troops from marching in uniform in parades.

The Defense Department said Thursday it did so because organizers had encouraged military personnel to march in their uniform and the parade was getting national attention.

Cmdr. Kent Blade, who will retire this fall after 26 years in the Navy, said being able to march in uniform was a perfect culmination of his career. The 47-year-old said that since last year's repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, he has received unconditional support from his fellow officers.

"We've all been able to talk more freely about our lives. Nobody's leading a second life," he said. "And now that I can march freely in uniform, I think it's a great display for the Navy."

About 200 active-duty troops participated in last year's San Diego gay pride parade, but they wore T-shirts with their branch's name, not military dress.


Tim said...

Damn, I missed the parade, shan't be in San Diego till September!

Davis said...

I cannot tell you how grateful this makes me feel.

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