The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.


Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Sparring erupts over uniforms in gay pride parade

  • A sailor waves a flag during the gay pride parade Saturday in San Diego.

    Gregory Bull / Associated Press

    A sailor waves a flag during the gay pride parade Saturday in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO -- Organizers of the military contingent in last Saturday's LGBT Pride parade in San Diego have accused congressional critics of trying to "bully the Pentagon into moving backwards" on the issue of gays in the military.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., criticized the Pentagon's decision to let service members wear their uniforms while marching in the parade -- the first time military personnel have been permitted to wear uniforms in a gay parade.
Forbes said the decision by a deputy assistant secretary of defense "was an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this administration's social agenda."
Inhofe demanded an explanation from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the decision to allow personnel to wear their uniforms in the parade violates a Department of Defense policy banning personnel from involvement "in a partisan political parade."
In a letter to Panetta, Inhofe requested "a detailed explanation of the rationale you used to grant this 'one-time waiver' of DOD policy, who requested the waiver, why this waiver was considered justified over other requests and whether you are considering other exceptions to current policy."
Former sailor Sean Sala, a member of Servicemembers United Leadership Council and the organizer of the military contingent for the parade, issued a statement Wednesday reading, in part:
"Sen. Inhofe and his like-minded colleagues should spend some time actually meeting and talking with some of these gay troops and veterans instead of using their platform to try to bully the Pentagon into moving backwards."
The San Diego parade and festival, Sala said, "are in the same category of nonpartisan and nonpolitical community events as are many other events and parades in which service members are also allowed to participate in uniform."
Upward of four dozen military personnel wore uniforms in the parade through the heavily gay neighborhood of Hillcrest. Other military members marched with them, many wearing T-shirts identifying their branch of service.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...
HeraldNet Classifieds