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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Praises Gay Troops, LGBT Civilians in Historic Pride Video: WATCH

Panetta

The Department of Defense today posted a first-ever LGBT Pride video featuring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praising gay service members and LGBT civilians.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Says Panetta in the video:

As we recognize Pride month, I want to personally thank all of our gay and lesbian service members, LGBT civilians, and their families for their dedicated service to our country.

Before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” you faithfully served your country with professionalism and courage. And just like your fellow service members, you put your country before yourself.

And now—after repeal, you can be proud of serving your country, and be proud of who you are when in uniform.

The pursuit of equality is fundamental to the American story. The successful repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” proved to the Nation that just like the country we defend, we share different backgrounds, different values, and different beliefs—but together, we are the greatest military force in the world.

It also reminds us that integrity and respect remain the cornerstones of our military culture. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force implemented the repeal with a focus on respect and individual dignity.

As Secretary of Defense, I am very proud of how we implemented repeal. Going forward, I remain committed to removing as many barriers as possible to make America’s military a model of equal opportunity, to ensure all who are qualified can serve in America’s military, and to give every man and woman in uniform the opportunity to rise to their highest potential.

Diversity is one of our greatest strengths. During Pride month—and every month—let us celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all.

Said Josh Seefried, Co-Director of OutServe: “This historic video confirms the message that the military supports all service members and civilian employees, based on their merit. This is a tribute to our core military values: respect and integrity. If there is any remaining doubt that the military has executed DADT repeal with excellence, and that LGBT people are serving our country with honor, Secretary Panetta has firmly put that to rest.  This is leadership directly from the top.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Wow.

    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Jun 15, 2012 9:25:25 AM


  2. Wow.

    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Jun 15, 2012 9:25:35 AM


  3. Wow... I mean, WOW!!! :)

    Posted by: Oz in OK | Jun 15, 2012 9:43:13 AM


  4. Awesome. It's wonderful to move into the 21st-century; I hope more and more of the country joins us here.

    Posted by: coolbear | Jun 15, 2012 10:24:27 AM


  5. Absolutely amazing.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 15, 2012 10:36:56 AM


  6. Absolutely amazing.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 15, 2012 10:37:05 AM


  7. This sudden outbreak of supportive video messages from Obama's Cabinet members is nice, as is his recent endorsement of same-sex marriage.......but it is rather painfully obvious that it is all just a form of political pandering motivated by the need to turn out the base in November.

    I doubt we would or will ever see anything like it in non-election years.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 15, 2012 10:38:17 AM


  8. Too bad the Obama administration is still enforcing DADT through the backdoor. They've never apologized for DADT. They've done nothing to reinstate or compensate the more than 14,000 innocent Gay servicemembers discharged under DADT, including the hundreds the Obama administration discharged. The Obama administration continues to forcibly recoup money from dischargees for "debts" created entirely by the administration's discharge of the Gay servicemembers. The administration refuses to implement a policy of non-discrimination with respect to Gays in the military, and harassment and discrimination against Gays in the military thus continues. Instead of syncophantic "wow's", people should be criticizing the administration.

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Jun 15, 2012 11:26:49 AM


  9. They need to do more to make the repeal irreversible in case Romney is elected and decides to make it an issue early in the administration. Studies of combat readiness and effectiveness can be conducted between now and election day. Also, the appointment of generals, admirals, etc. who are in favor of repeal would help solidify the gains made.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 15, 2012 11:42:54 AM


  10. BRAVO, MR. SECRETARY.....NOW, achieving much of that equality for gay service members you speak of is as easy as a stroke of your pen. Please SIGN an order mandating [in addition to those other corrections DADT victim Jim Pietrangelo identified above] inclusion of gay troops under the Military Equal Opportunity Program, and extension of all benefits for military couples not banned because of DOMA! AND please also mandate that all DOD departments give LGBT civilian employees the option of having Pride Month events.

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | Jun 15, 2012 1:32:56 PM


  11. BRAVO, MR. SECRETARY.....NOW, achieving much of that equality for gay service members you speak of is as easy as a stroke of your pen. Please SIGN an order mandating [in addition to those other corrections DADT victim Jim Pietrangelo identified above] inclusion of gay troops under the Military Equal Opportunity Program, and extension of all benefits for military couples not banned because of DOMA! AND please also mandate that all DOD departments give LGBT civilian employees the option of having Pride Month events.

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | Jun 15, 2012 1:32:57 PM


  12. Try picturing that happening under a Romney administration.

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Jun 15, 2012 4:10:36 PM


  13. At the risk of being partisan can anyone considering voting Republican in the forthcoming Presidential election envisage a message of that kind under a Republican administration?

    Yes, there are plenty of other considerations but the Democrats have overwhelmingly been supportive of LGBT rights unlike their opponents which have been, on balance, hostile.

    Posted by: Mundus | Jun 15, 2012 9:08:34 PM


  14. HELL YEAH now THAT was a speech!!!

    Posted by: william | Jun 15, 2012 9:49:29 PM


  15. Re-elect the Obama/Biden Administraion in November.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 17, 2012 2:45:33 AM


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