Defense Department General Counsel Jen
Johnson will serve as the keynote speaker at the Pentagon's first
ever Gay Pride event on Tuesday.
The hour-long 1PM event is scheduled to
take place in the Pentagon auditorium. Johnson will be followed by a
moderated panel discussion titled The Value of Open Service and
Johnson, the Pentagon's top lawyer,
co-chaired the 2010 study of how repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”
would affect the military.
A poster announcing the event quotes
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as saying, “Diversity is one of
our greatest strengths. During Pride month and every month, let us
celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to
equality for all.”
The department did not say whether
Panetta would attend the event.
Last week, Panetta released a video
thanking gay service members for their service and recognizing June
as Gay Pride month.
Donnelly condemns Leon Panetta's promotion of Pentagon Gay Pride.)
The celebration comes just 9 months
after the military ended its policy which banned gay and bisexual
troops from serving openly. Nearly 14,000 service members were
drummed out of the military for violating “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”
before it ended last September.