Oh behalf of Col. Peeples and Command Sgt. Maj. Majeski, please join the community for our 2020 Virtual LGBT Observance with special guest speaker Mr. Albert Mack Former JBMHH ASAP Manager.

Throughout our history, patriotic lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen have honorably served and bravely fought for our nation. Their readiness and willingness to serve have made our military stronger and our nation safer.

In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution LGBT Americans routinely experienced.

This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against the LGBT community. LGBT Pride Month commemorates these events, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for LGBT Americans.

On December 22, 2010, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was officially repealed. Certification occurred in July 2011, and fully implemented on September 10, 2011. LGB military members could now serve openly, proudly, and honorably. On April 28, 2014, the Pentagon released an update to the Department of Defense (DoD) Human Goals Charter that, for the first time, included language related to sexual orientation for military members.

Previously, the definition of “spouse” under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was defined by the state law where the employee resided. In February 2015, the Department of Labor revised the definition to encompass legally married same-sex couples, regardless of where they live or work.

In June 2015, the DoD updated its Military Equal Opportunity program to protect Service Members against discrimination because of sexual orientation. The Department’s ongoing commitment to living the values it defends includes treating everyone equally.

In June 2016, the DoD announced all transgender Service Members can openly serve, and cannot be discharged or otherwise separated from the military.

As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month together, let us take pride in all who step forward to serve our country. All who answer the call to serve are committing themselves to the most noble endeavor—to provide security for others so they can live their dreams, raise their children, and enjoy full lives.

Diversity and inclusion are readiness imperatives; we rely on our diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise to address the complex challenges of global security.