Roughly 40 service members, some
retired, marched in Saturday's San Diego Gay Pride parade, marking
the first time in U.S. history that active-duty members of the
military have been allowed to march in uniform in a Gay Pride parade.
The Department of Defense on Thursday
announced its approval, saying it was allowing the exception because
organizers had encouraged military personnel to march in their
A contingent of about 200 active-duty
service members last year marched in San Diego's parade. But troops
were not allowed to participate in uniform; instead they wore
t-shirts with their branch's name.
Nearly 200,000 revelers cheered loudly
as the service members passed.
Sean Sala, a former sailor who help
organize the action, told The
San Diego Union-Tribune that the gay troops deserved to be
“I think everybody wants to make it a
gay thing, but it's just an American thing,” he said. “These are
people that have laid down their lives for their country, you know,
and they deserve recognition for their service regardless of their
“Today is a great day of Pride! San
Diego Pride is honored to have the privilege of celebrating our
country and our service members with dignity and respect,” said
Dwayne Crenshaw, executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride.
The move comes just weeks after the
Pentagon celebrated Gay Pride for the first time.
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