"It was absolutely thrilling last year to walk down the street. But this year -- to be able to march in uniform -- wow! I'm speechless."
Openly gay Air Force Officer Joanna Gasca, who has been given permission, along with several hundred other active duty troops, to march in San Diego's Gay Pride Parade in full uniform. Last year, the 47-year-old marched in a t-shirt. The Defense Department made the allowance for the Saturday, July 21, parade, even though its general policy is to bar troops from marching in uniform in parades.
Former sailor Sean Sala, organizer of this year's military participation in the parade, told the AP,
"My soul is on fire. They don't fight in T-shirts. They fight in uniforms. This is about showing who they are."
Remarked San Diego Pride executive director Dwayne Crenshaw,
Source: Associated Press
"San Diego Pride is honored to have the privilege of celebrating our country and our service members with dignity and respect. The fight for equality is not over, and it is not easy, but this is a giant leap in the right direction."
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