By Richard Hack
The American military divisions have faced their fair share of controversy when inclusion of all members of the LGBTQ community is concerned. So it came as an extra positive gesture in this time of divisive rhetoric from Washington and the complete failure to acknowledge Pride Month by the President, that the Marine Corps should step up to celebrate the occasion.
A graphic celebrating Pride Month and noting that 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was posted last week on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, S.C. Facebook page.
That the Marine Corps, generally regarded as America’s most physically prepared and toughest infantry division in the country, would make an effort to show its open support of its LGBTQ brothers and sisters, the world should stand up and take notice.
The Marine Corps issued a force-wide statement earlier last month in support of LGBTQ servicemembers and the ten-year anniversary of the repeal of DADT — a policy that prohibited gay and bisexual people from serving openly.
“The Marine Corps is committed to living the values we defend and treating everyone equally, and with dignity and respect. As such, the Marine Corps takes pride in building strength through diversity. The Corps is dedicated to promoting a professional environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent Marines from reaching their full potential. This June, Commanders and leaders are encouraged to take time to recognize the 2020 LGBT Pride Month, and promote participation in observance events throughout their local communities,” according to Brigadier General D. L. Shipley, Division Director, Manpower Plans and Policy, Marine Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Under a graphic drawn by Staff Sgt. Rebecca L. Floto of Parris Island, NC, the supporting comments were many and especially clear.
“June is pride month EVERYWHERE. I’m happy to see the Marines are supporting their LGBTQ brothers and sisters regardless of popular opinion. #PRIDE” posted Sue Souder.
“Hoorah to all our Devildogs! You can give your heart to anyone, but your ass belongs to the Corps!” said Jason Maggio from New York.
“Anybody who wakes up at 1am to draw weapons at 2am to hike at 430am that gets moved to 6am is okay with me,” said Wang Doodle on Facebook.