DoD Marks Gay Pride Month with Event at the Pentagon
The U.S. military is marking Gay Pride Month with a DoD Pride event at the Pentagon on Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will attend the event, which is described as a low-key symposium.
Former Secretary Leon Panetta attended a similar last year, which was the first of its kind in the aftermath of lifting the ban on open gays in the military.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said: "Secretary Hagel looks forward to participating in this year’s DoD Pride event at the Pentagon on Tuesday, June 25 to celebrate LGBT Pride Month.
"Secretary Hagel is also looking forward to welcoming senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett to the Pentagon, who will represent President Obama in delivering the keynote address at the event."
The event follows a directive sent out to all troops by the Pentagon on May 31.
In the directive, Clarence A. Johnson, director of the Pentagon’s office of diversity management and equal opportunity to the military’s personnel chiefs, wrote: "The Department of Defense joins the Nation in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month during the month of June.
"We recognize gay, lesbian and bisexual service members and LGBT civilians for their dedicated service to our country. During the month of June, I encourage our DoD personnel to recognize the accomplishments of all members of our workforce and, in doing so, we celebrate the significance of diversity in building a brighter future for all citizens."
Retired Army officer Robert Maginnis, an analyst at the Family Research Council, said personnel should not be forced to celebrate gay pride.
He told the Washington Times said: "Designating a special Pentagon month to celebrate homosexuality was a totally predictable outcome of the Obama administration’s radical agenda.
"Gays are now a special military class that will be in your face, and those who disagree for readiness and/or moral reasons will jettison the armed forces. That’s, of course, what Obama radicals want, and evidently our service chiefs lack the courage to say, ‘Enough’."