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Forbes Statement on DoD Permitting Uniformed Servicemembers to March in Gay Pride Parade

Press Release

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Location: Washington, DC

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) condemned the Department of Defense (DoD) for issuing an unprecedented rule exception allowing Armed Forces personnel to wear their uniforms in a Gay Pride Parade to celebrate the "growing list of states with marriage equality."

"I am calling on the DoD to halt these dangerous exceptions to policy for political purposes. This decision was an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this Administration's social agenda. It is in clear violation of DoD Instruction 1334.01, which states that, without exception, service members are prohibited from wearing the uniform 'during or in connection with furthering political activities.' Sadly, this is yet another violation in what has become a pattern of this Administration's assault on the longstanding history of the Department of Defense as a nonpolitical organization.

Exceptions to the uniform prohibitions are only entertained for participation in activities "such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration, which may imply Service sanction of the cause. Nevertheless, the Department of Defense announced Thursday in a memorandum to all its branches that it was allowing service members to march in uniform in a gay pride parade in San Diego on Saturday. According to a press release posted on the San Diego LGBT Pride website, Dwayne Crenshaw, executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride, described the parade as a "celebration here in San Diego of the advances in LGBT equality from the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to the addition of Washington and Maryland to the growing list of states with marriage equality. If justice prevails, we will be able to celebrate marriage equality in California too." The press release, archived here and referenced in other news outlets, was removed from the parade website Friday morning.


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