Defense Department Observes LGBT Pride Month

Photo Illustration by Matt Radick/The State News

U.S. Department of Defense, 3 June 2017

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2017 — The Defense Department is observing June as LGBT Pride Month to recognize DoD’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members and civilians.

DoD Pride, an employee resource group, is hosting its annual celebration June 12 at the Pentagon.

Tolerance and Justice

“The struggles, sacrifices and successes among the LGBT community continue to shape our history and remind us to uphold tolerance and justice for all,” Anthony M. Kurta wrote in a memo announcing the observance today. Kurta is performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

“Integrity and respect are fundamental qualities of our military and civilian culture,” Kurta noted in the memo.

Celebrating Diversity

“As we celebrate the diversity of the total force, we honor all who have answered the call to serve, and their unwavering commitment to our shared mission,” he wrote. “During the month of June, let us celebrate the diversity of the DoD workforce and rededicate ourselves to equity, dignity and respect for all.”

 

3 responses to “Defense Department Observes LGBT Pride Month

  1. Not wanting to stir up anything likely to offend / upset or alienate anyone in any of the various minority groups of: sexual orentation, ethnic minority, disability, race creed or background; can we not just say our ‘veterans’, or our serving members? Why do we/they have to single them out? Isn’t that in itself promoting a ‘difference’ between people of one group from those of another? They have all given up something to join the armed forces for the same cause, does it matter what sexual orientation they are? Not to me it doesn’t, I’m just grateful to them, and admire their will to do so. I hope no one takes offence, that certainly isn’t the intention, more a well done you and thank you.

    • Andy, couldn’t agree more. I was a carer for a gay gentleman who had a C5 spinal injury and used a wheelchair. I worked with him for 14 months he was a fantastic guy, and so were his friends. Sexuality shouldn’t be an issue, as you say, veterans are veterans. Unfortunately though, there is still a great deal of prejudice out there, which is fuelled by ignorance. I experienced it with this guy. Honestly, he changed my life, I hadn’t realised that I was prejudiced before I met him. Many of us don’t realise we are doing it, but where ‘social norms’ don’t apply, sometimes we make assumptions on the basis of what we see. Some for example, thought they were being kind by getting down to his level to talk to him, he found that insulting. Some would avoid talking about his sexuality through fear of causing offence. I quickly learned to be myself. Act as you would with anyone else. He changed my life for the better, and I consider him a great friend. The gay community on canal street in Manchester is fantastic. One last thing, they all respected my sexuality too. Lovely guys, lovely people, we still have some way to go, which is why I think that LGBT events are still highlighted. But I take your point. Thanks Andy.

      • I agree totally Rich. It’s a sad indictment of society today that we have to promote these different ‘groups’, an equal society would accept it and get on with life without questions or interference, but that sadly, is not where we’re at…yet.

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