PENTAGON: Country 'Safer' With Openly Gay Troops...
June 25, 2013
The Pentagon on Tuesday toasted gays in the military, with a top adviser to President Obama declaring the country is “safer” now that homosexuals may serve openly.
“Because we repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ our military … is stronger and our country is safer, more equal and more just,” said Valerie Jarrett, the keynote speaker at the Pentagon’s gay pride celebration.
It was the Defense Department second annual gay pride gathering since September 2011, when Mr. Obama signed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a ban on gays serving openly in the military implemented during the Clinton administration.
This year’s 35-minute event in the Pentagon auditorium was more low-key and shorter than last year’s pride event, which featured a gay Marine officer, an Air Force lawyer and a lesbian West Point graduate.
Wednesday’s speakers were assembled by a new group, DOD Pride, and featured three senior officials, topped by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
“We’re very proud of everything the gay and lesbian community have contributed and continue to contribute,” Mr. Hagel said. “With their service, we are moving closer to fulfilling the country’s founding vision that all of us are created equal.”