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Celebrating Diversity - June is LGBTQ Pride Month

Celebrating and recognizing the diversity of both civilian and service members across the Department of Defense, June is Pride Month. The rainbow flag represents the diversity and social movement of LGBTQ community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal)

Celebrating and recognizing the diversity of both civilian and service members across the Department of Defense, June is Pride Month. The rainbow flag represents the diversity and social movement of LGBTQ community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Celebrating and recognizing the diversity of both civilian and service members across the Department of Defense, June is Pride Month.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month was chosen to be recognized in June to commemorate the riots that occurred in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York. The event, known as Stonewall Riots, became the catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world to achieve equal justice and opportunities.

Throughout history, LGBTQ Airmen have bravely served and defended their country. Their commitment to service has made the Air Force stronger and the nation safer. Their courage and the sacrifices made along the way with their fellow Airmen add to the inclusivity and rich diversity of the Air Force family.

Since the days of lesbian and gay service members having to hide their true identity while serving their country, the Department of Defense has made many strides in promoting equal rights as well as inclusivity for all sexual orientations. The DoD recognizes the equally unwavering dedication of LGBTQ Airmen to serve and protect their country.

• In 1993, the Department of Defense issued the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, a directive prohibiting the U.S. military from barring applicants from service based on their sexual orientation and would not be asked or required to reveal whether they are homosexual.

• On June 2, 2000, President Bill Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7316 for the first Gay and Lesbian Pride Month to recognize contributions made by LGBT.

• In 2008, Anthony Loverde had been a Staff Sgt. for seven years when he was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after telling his commander that he was gay. In May 2012, he reentered the Air Force becoming the second person and first gay Airman to return to active duty since the DADT policy was repealed.

• On December 22, 2010, the DADT Repeal Act became law and was fully implemented of the Act occurred in September 2011 and LGB military members could then serve openly with honor and integrity.

• Effective March 27, 2015, the Family and Medical Leave Act extended coverage to all legally married same-sex couples to take FMLA leave to provide care for spouse.