Snap Fact #243
President Obama Has Changed The Conversation: Pentagon Will Celebrate Gay Pride!
Since coming into office, President Obama had urged Congress and the Pentagon to overturn the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which denied gays, bisexuals and lesbians the right to serve openly in the military. 

It was a policy which forced 3,000 service members to leave the military and cost them their jobs. Some of these people had irreplaceable skills and experience which made their separation even more self-destructive to our military itself. 

Nine months after gays, bisexuals and lesbians were allowed to serve openly in the military, the Pentagon plans to honor them with a gay pride month celebration. For the first time, the Pentagon will salute (mark) gay pride month just as it marks other events honoring racial or ethnic groups, Defense Department officials said.


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta touted the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in a video message on June 15, 2012 thanking gay and lesbian service members in honor of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month.

Panetta said the repeal was implemented “with a focus on respect and individual dignity.” “Going forward, I remain committed to removing as many barriers as possible to make America’s military a model of equal opportunity, to ensure all who are qualified can serve in America’s military, and to give every man and woman in uniform the opportunity to rise to their highest potential.” He praised those who served before the repeal. 

“Just like your fellow service members, you put your country before yourself,” Panetta said. “And now, after repeal, you can be proud of serving your country and be proud of who you are when in uniform.”

“Diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” he said. “And during pride month – and every month -- let’s celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all.”