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LGBT Servicemembers To Receive Memorial In Congressional Cemetery

DADTNearly three years ago, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal was made official, paving the way for lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members to perform their duties openly and honestly. The repeal by no means erased a traumatic history, however, and now gay veterans, and those currently serving, will receive a memorial to honor their sacrifices. Located in Washington, D.C.'s congressional cemetery, the memorial will cement DADT as a thing of the past.

Blue Nation Review reports:

The monument will be three pillars in a triangle shape with each branch’s insignia on it and a flag in the middle. The point of the memorial is to make people aware of the sacrifice and hardship that LGBT people face in the military. There are countless stories of veterans repressing their sexuality in order to serve their country. Thanks to President Obama’s leadership and the action of Congressional Democrats ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010, soldiers don’t have to do that anymore.

Of course, transgender service members cannot serve openly in the military, a tragic oversight which requires immediate attention. Still, this memorial will be an important symbol of equality for many Americans.

In related news, the Congressional Cemetery is the final resting place of Leonard Matlovich, a Vietnam war vet and gay rights pioneer who took up residence in San Francisco's Castro District in the late 70's, and appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in September 1975 under the headline "I am a Homosexual".

Matlovich's headstone is well-known. It reads: "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."

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  1. This is great. Of course, Leonard Matlovich's grave is located just down the row from those that notorious couple J Edgar Hoover and his 'close friend' Clive Tollefson.

    Not that they never served in the military...

    Posted by: Smartypants | Aug 6, 2014 2:42:47 PM

  2. The committee for the National LGBT Veterans Memorial specifically chose Congressional Cemetery because Leonard's grave (also meant to be a memorial to gay veterans) is there, and will be nearby. Clyde Tolson's grave, with its ironic pink granite tombstone is only five plots from Leonard's. J'Edgar's family plot is a few yards further down in the row which Leonard chose as a kind of "last laugh." For the story of his gravestone and that of other out gay Congressional Cemetery "residents," go to:

    The Cemetery will soon be published a self-guided tour guide to them.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Aug 6, 2014 3:31:29 PM

  3. Leonard was a good friend and a great LGBT addvocate.

    I remember him fondly and recall his courage on two battlefields....

    In Viet Nam and on Castro Street.

    Posted by: Louis | Aug 6, 2014 5:51:09 PM

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