Last summer, gays in the military dared not admit their sexual orientation. This summer, the Pentagon will salute them, marking June as gay pride month just as it has recognized other celebrations honoring racial or ethnic groups.
In the latest remarkable sign of change since the military repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, the Defense Department will soon hold its first event to recognize gay and lesbian troops. It comes nine months after repeal of the policy that banned gay troops from serving openly and forced more than 13,500 service members out of the armed forces.
Details are being worked out, but officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wants to honor the contributions of gay service members.
This month’s event will follow a long tradition in the Pentagon of recognizing diversity.