‘Pride’ parade set to feature military personnel
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – On Saturday, San Diego's annual gay pride parade will feature active duty officers and enlisted troops for the first time in the celebration's decades-old history.
The move comes as the U.S. military inches toward the end of its “don't ask, don't tell” policy.
The military-themed contingent entered into Saturday's parade will feature about 350 people, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Roughly 70 percent of the 350-strong contingency are active-duty service members, the majority of which are gay, according to the newspaper.
They will not march in uniform but will wear T-shirts representing the different branches of the military.
After months and months of legal wrangling, the Pentagon announced last week that it would tell its commands to honor a court ruling that deemed “don't ask, don't tell” unconstitutional. Action by new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected any day.
Saturday's parade is part of San Diego's 37th annual Pride Celebration, which also includes a two-day festival in Balboa Park, featuring live music and other festivities.