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Valley Public Radio Staff
Thu July 19, 2012
Service Members Can March In Uniform At Pride Parade, Pentagon Says
The AP is reporting that for the first time in United States history, the Department of Defense is allowing its members to march in uniform at a gay pride parade.
The Pentagon issued a statement today, saying it was making an exception for San Diego's Gay Pride Parade on Saturday. Normally, the Pentagon doesn't allow troops to march in parades in uniform.
Rene Bardorf, a DoD spokeswoman sent a statement to LGBT Weekly. She said:
"It is our understanding that event organizers plan to have a portion of the parade that is dedicated to military members ... we further understand organizers are encouraging service members to seek their commanders approval to march in uniform and to display their pride. Based on our current knowledge of the event and current policies, we hereby are granting approval for service members in uniform to participate in this year's parade, provided service members 1) participate in their personal capacity, and 2) ensure the adherence to Military Service standards of appearance and wear of the uniform."
The exception only applies to this parade.
The AP reports that San Diego's LGBT Pride Executive Director Dwayne Crenshaw called the move a "a giant leap" in the direction of equality.
Last month, the Pentagon held its first-ever event to recognize gay troops. It was about a year ago that the government's repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was formally certified by the president.