The U.S. Defense Department gave special recognition to gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members and LGBT civilian workers for their “dedicated service to our country” on June 25. But that was not enough for OutServe-SLDN, an advocacy group for LGBT military personnel. The DOD did not mention transgendered uniformed personnel. OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson stated earlier this month:
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contributions of transgender people in uniform — presumably because transgender people remain barred from service by outdated and obsolete medical regulations.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.
June is “Pride Month” for the LGBT community. The DOD celebrated it with a red-white-and-blue poster for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at the Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, which bears this quote from 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.”
On June 26, the DOD will continue its celebration of LGBT pride with recognition of the December 22, 2010 repeal of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The keynote address will be given by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.