U.S. Military to Recruit at San Francisco’s Gay Pride Festival

Iron in War was on vacation last week, but there was a curious and important development in civilian – military relations in San Francisco: the military showed up at the Gay Pride parade and celebration. From an article written before the event:

For the first time since the repeal of its ban on gay men and women serving openly, the U.S. military is sending recruiters to San Francisco’s gay pride celebration.

The organizers of the annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade expect to draw one million people to its festivities this year. Recruiters from the California National Guard, joined by openly gay soldiers, will be among them, setting up two booths to answer questions about life in uniform.

“At the end of the day, we’re a community-based organization, too,” Capt. Shannon Terry, public affairs officer for the California National Guard, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “So we need to look like our community.” Recruitment efforts also took place at the San Diego pride parade last year and Los Angeles’ celebrations earlier this year — which drew in crowds of 200,000 and 400,000 attendees respectively. (Link)

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowing gay and lesbian members of the U.S. Military to serve openly, is cited as a major thaw in Military – LGBT relations.


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