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DoD Designates June as LGBT Pride Month

For immediate release:
Monday, June 3, 2013

Contact: Zeke Stokes at
202-621-5406 or zeke@outserve-sldn.org

Department of Defense Honors LGBT Pride Month for Second Consecutive Year
Robinson: Changing laws is the easy part; changing culture takes much longer

(WASHINGTON, DC) In a memorandum dated May 31, 2013, and signed by Clarence Johnson, Director of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, the Department of Defense has designated June as LGBT Pride Month. Today, Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson praised Pentagon leadership for the action.

“It is appropriate and gratifying that Secretary Hagel and his leadership team would follow the historic precedent set last year by then-Secretary Leon Panetta by honoring LGBT Pride Month at the Department of Defense. Acknowledging the accomplishments and contributions of lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members sends an important message all the way down the chain of command: that our military is stronger, and our nation safer, because it includes them,” said Robinson.

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contributions of transgender people in uniform – presumably because transgender people remain barred from service by outdated and obsolete medical regulations. Robinson called out the omission.

“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,” said Robinson.

OutServe-SLDN members and supporters will be participating in more than twenty LGBT Pride events around the world this summer. For more information on the OS-SLDN Pride Celebration, click here.

About OutServe-SLDN: OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6500 members around the world It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.

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