U.S. military marches in gay pride parade; Rep. criticizes Pentagon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — For the first time in history, members of the U.S. military marched in uniform at a gay pride event after the Pentagon temporarily lifted its ban on service members wearing uniforms in parades.
The Department of Defense made an exception for service members who wanted to march in uniform in San Diego’s Gay Pride Parade July 21 because organizers had requested it and because the event was receiving national attention, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in a video message he intended to remove as many barriers as possible to making the military a model of equal opportunity. The move came just weeks after the Pentagon for the first time observed June as gay pride month.

In a letter to Panetta July 24, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R.-Okla., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the waiver for the gay pride event.
“If the Navy can punish a chaplain for participating in a pro-life event or a Marine participating in a political rally, it stands to reason that DOD should maintain the same standard and preclude service members in uniform from marching in a gay pride parade,” Inhoff wrote.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R.-Va., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, also condemned the waiver, saying, “I am calling on the Defense Department to halt these dangerous exceptions to policy for political purposes. This decision was an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this administration’s social agenda.”
( Rep. criticizes Pentagon )

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