Opinion

Gay pride poster a priority for Defense Dept.

The Department of Defense unveiled a poster Tuesday to celebrate Pride Month, praising America’s gay, lesbian and bisexual service members and civilian workers for their “dedicated service to our country.”

Apparently, there are no active-duty transgendered members of the armed forces — yet.

The poster, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, includes this quote by President Barack Obama, according to CNS News:

“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.”

Although one representative of the LGBT military was pleased about the recognition, she was less than thrilled that transgendered military personnel weren’t included. Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson noted in a press release:

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contributions of transgender people in uniform -– presumably because transgender people remain barred from service by outdated and obsolete medical regulations.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 LGBT Pride Month. The month is almost over. Maybe next year.

The Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, instituted during the Clinton administration, was repealed Dec. 22, 2010.

Gay soldier poster

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