For the first time in the nation's history, active members of the US military will be able to march in a gay pride parade, in uniform. The decision to allow participation in San Diego Pride is the first time the Department of Defense has granted such an application since the September repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In the past, only veterans have been allowed to march in pride parades. "It is our understanding that event organizers plan to have a portion of the parade dedicated to military members," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Community and Public Outreach Rene Bardorf wrote in an internal memo. "We further understand organizers are encouraging service members to seek their commander's approval to march in uniform and to display their pride," Bardorf wrote. San Diego has a large military presence due to its naval base and the nearby Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Nearly 400 military members have already signed up to march in the parade, according to organiser San Diego LGBT Pride. "We are hopeful that those who have feared coming to share in the joy of Pride out of concern for losing their military careers will be able to finally celebrate their full and complete selves," it said in a statement.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Friday, 20th July 2012 - 8:10pm
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