Former and active-duty military troops participated at the 37th annual Pride Parade in San Diego.
The Associated Press reports:
A former Navy operations specialist is organizing what is believed to be the first military contingent of hundreds of active-duty troops and veterans to lead a gay pride parade Saturday, a day after an appeals court temporarily reinstated a policy against openly gay people serving in the military.
Sean Sala, who finished his service last month, is heading up the participation of the national Servicemembers Legal Defense Network — representing gay and lesbian active-duty military personnel — in the parade.
The group said they told Sala they are warning members that it is still a risk to come out as long as “don’t ask, don’t tell” is on the books.
“We communicated to him that anyone who participates is assuming a certain level of risk,” spokesman Zeke Stokes said. “We are looking forward to a time when LGBT service members can participate in these kinds of actions without any risk.”
Sala said it’s time for the gay and lesbian community to stop hiding in fear.
The military contingent in the parade numbered about 250 people, and the former Navy operations specialist who brought the group together said many are currently in the military, while the rest are veterans. They dressed in civilian clothes.
Marine Corporal Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is on active duty and said he looks forward to next year’s parade, when he believes it will be possible to march in “dress blues.”
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