The ceremony follows last September’s official killing of DOD’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexual service that went into effect in 1993 during the Clinton administration.
Clinton received major political cover from Arizona’s former conservative Senator Barry Goldwater, who penned an op-ed piece in the Washington Post in which he wrote: “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” Goldwater served with the Air Force in India, China, Burma and Europe during WWII and retired as a major general in the USAF Reserve.
Fittingly, DOD’s General Counsel Jeh Johnson is keynote speaker at pride session. Obama-nominated Johnson after he co-chaired a working group with General Carter Ham last year that weighed the impact of repealing DADT. The Washington Post called the report an “honest, thorough and respectful handling of a delicate subject” that offered a “clear-eyed, careful conservative approach to implementing policy change.”
There will be a panel discussion about the “value of open service and diversity” following Johnson’s speech. President Obama hosted his own LGBT reception at the White House on June 15.
Congressman “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said at breakfast meeting last week that he has no stomach to revisit DADT even if Mitt Romney becomes president. His priority is to prevent the mandatory end of year across the board cuts in the Pentagon’s budget.