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Military personel march down University Avenue during the San Diego gay pride parade July 16, 2011 in San Diego, California. About 200 active-duty troops and veterans from every branch of the military participated for the first time in the march.
This weekend’s San Diego LGBT Pride parade will have unique costumes, but they might not be what you expect. For the first time, the Department of Defense has granted permission for active service members to march in military uniform.
Ordinarily, the Department does not allow its members to wear their uniforms while marching in support of political causes, although department policy allows for local commanders to occasionally make different decisions because of their “unique knowledge of the conditions in their community.”
According to the DOD, its decision was the result of both national media attention and the fact that the parade’s organizers had already been working with the military to dedicate a specific portion of the parade to service members. The decision is for Saturday’s parade only.
Ben Gomez, San Diego Pride Military Contingent committee
Dwayne Crenshaw, Executive Director of San Diego Pride