The Pentagon is joining the nation in
celebrating LGBT Pride.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a
statement released this week that the department is committed to
treating everyone equally.
“The Department of Defense has made a
lasting commitment to living the values we defend – to treating
everyone equally – because we need to be a meritocracy,” Carter
said. “We have to focus relentlessly on our mission, which means
the thing that matters most about a person is what they can
contribute to national defense.”
“Diversity is one of our nation's
greatest strengths,” the
department said. “During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender (LGBT) Pride month, we celebrate our rich diversity and
renew our enduring commitment to equity.”
The Pentagon's presentation also
recognizes the contributions of Dr. Frank E. Kameny, who served in
World War II, and Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich, a Vietnam
War veteran. Kameny was fired and barred from federal employment in
1957 because he was gay. His unsuccessful lawsuit was the first to
challenge the ban. The U.S. government formally apologized to Kameny
in 2009. Matlovich, who earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star,
outed himself to challenge the ban on gays in the military.