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Pentagon Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Pride Month Event (official transcript)

News release from The White House:

imagePresenter: Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson; Director of Press Operations Capt. Jane Campbell; Army Veteran Sue Fulton; Marine Corps Capt. Matthew Phelps; and Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Air Force Gordon Tanner

June 26, 2012
Pentagon Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Pride Month Event
ANNOUNCER:  Ladies and gentlemen, our program will begin momentarily. Please take your seats.

            Ladies and gentlemen, please be advise that this event will be televised, therefore we ask that you remove your DOD badges, and please silence all electronic devices.

            Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of Defense Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month Event.  Please stand for the presentation of colors and remain standing for the National Anthem.

            (Playing National Anthem)

            ANNOUNCER:  Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated.  Please direct your attention to the center screen for the president's LGBT Pride Month video message, followed by Secretary Panetta's Pride Month Message.

            (Begin Videotape)

            PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  I've often said that the true genius of America is that America can change.  We can pass laws to right wrongs.  We can soften hardened attitudes.  Our union can be made more perfect.  But here's the thing, change never happens on its own.  Change happens because ordinary people, countless unsung heroes of our American story, stand up and demand it.  The story of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans is no different.

            As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, we remember the activists and advocates who refused to be treated like second class citizens.  People like Jeanne Manford and Harvey Milk who marched and protested and believed in a better future.  But we also remember the unsung heroes.  The millions of LGBT Americans for whom every day acts have required extraordinary courage.  The young people who came out as gay or transgender to their parents, not knowing what to expect.  The two moms or two dad who went to an open house or PTA meeting, not knowing how they'd be received.

            The couple that got married, even if their bosses or neighbors wouldn't approve.  At least not right away.  Most of these heroes didn't set out to make history, but that's exactly what they did.  Bit by bit, step by step, they bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.  Now it's our turn.  So this June, let's take some time to celebrate teachers and students who take a stand against bullying.  Openly gay and lesbian service members who defend our country with honor and integrity.  Families and friends who have seen their own attitudes evolve.

            Perfecting our union isn't something we can do in just one month, but we can remember those who came before us.  We can summon the courage to build on their legacy.  And we can renew our commitment, day in and day out to being the kind of people who make change happen.

            (End Videotape)

Click here to read the complete transcript.


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It might be LGB Month at the DoD but Transgenders still get a less than honorable discharge if discovered or they come out while a member of the Armed Services. To say that it is lgbT month just sticks in my throat!

I really hope we continue to remember our Transgender sisters and brothers in this movement. I read a book that gave me an enormous understanding of their plight. "Not Your Average American Girl" (author Christine Beatty) was so uplifting and enlightening, that I believe should be on everyone's shelf that believes in true equality. Amazing insights and poetic. You can get it at Amazon or http://www.glamazonpress.com/

DoD is more than military members. There are approximately 800K civilians and the pentagon honored then - trans civilians are all over the DOD workforce.

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