Troops Win OK to Wear Uniforms in Gay Pride Parade

And first gay wedding held on military base
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2012 12:51 AM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2012 1:20 AM CDT
Troops Win OK to Wear Uniforms in Gay Pride Parade
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali, right, and his partner Will Behrens hold hands during their civil union ceremony held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.   (AP Photo/Jeff Sheng)

The military has now repealed the hell out of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." For the first time, American troops will be allowed to march in uniform at a gay pride parade, reports the BBC. The Pentagon—which marked gay pride month in June—says it is making an exception to rules against troops marching in parades in uniform for the San Diego gay pride parade tomorrow. Some 200 service members marched in the parade last year, wearing T-shirts with the name of the military branches they served in. "The fight for equality is not over, and it is not easy, but this is a giant leap in the right direction," says the chief of San Diego Pride.

And in New Jersey, a gay wedding has been held on a military base for the first time ever, reports Slate. Air Force Tech Sgt. Erwynn Umali and his partner, civilian Will Behren, held their civil union ceremony at the chapel at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, where Umali is stationed. When they asked military officials about holding the ceremony on the base, "they were very open about it, but said, 'No one has ever asked us this question before,'" Umali says. "We did not get any push-back from the base or leadership. All they asked was that we be patient because this was the very first one." (More US military stories.)

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