DC: Armed Services Color Guard Marches In Gay Pride Parade For First Time

For what is believed to be the first time in American history, an armed services color guard marched in a gay pride parade yesterday in Washington DC. Via Stars & Stripes:

While no policy has precluded a U.S. armed forces color guard from participating in gay-rights events since the 2011 repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, gay-rights organizations from D.C. to Hawaii say they have routinely faced rejection from local military offices, saying the color guards were otherwise occupied on the days of pride parades. Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Department of Defense spokesman, said he could not confirm whether Saturday’s event was a first because decisions about military support for parades are generally made at the local level. Christensen said an Armed Forces color guard did perform on the grounds of the Pentagon last year for a Department of Defense pride event and one was scheduled to perform there again Thursday. Lt. Col. Todd Burton, a founding member of Outserve, which has tracked the color guard issue and repeatedly sought to win approval for one at a pride event, said Saturday’s is a first as far as he knows.

The above-linked article notes that the color guard was provided by the “United States Military District of Washington, which presents colors for the president, members of Congress and countless official state functions.” Photo source.