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Patrick-Cape celebrates Pride Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender  pride month can be traced back to the Manhattan Stonewall riots in 1969, which was a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement. Originally, the last Sunday in June was celebrated as Gay Pride Day, which grew to encompass the month in cities across the nation and in June 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month." President Barack Obama, in 2009, changed the name into what we know now as LGBT Pride Month." ( Courtesy Photo)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender pride month can be traced back to the Manhattan Stonewall riots in 1969, which was a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement. Originally, the last Sunday in June was celebrated as Gay Pride Day, which grew to encompass the month in cities across the nation and in June 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month." President Barack Obama, in 2009, changed the name into what we know now as LGBT Pride Month." ( Courtesy Photo)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force is consistently changing to become more diverse. One part of the continuing change to embrace diversity was the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell law in September 2011. 

The Air Force has gone from a service where Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans-sexual (LGBT) members were discharged if their sexuality was brought to the surface to being able to serve openly and to marry anyone they choose, regardless of sex. 

During Pride Month, we celebrate those in the LGBT community who continue to transform the lasting ideals of dignity and worth, according to Clarence Johnson, Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity.

"Throughout the month of June, let's rededicate ourselves to equity, dignity and respect for all, and celebrate the diversity of the DOD workforce," said Johnson.

We celebrate those who continue to build a society where every child grows up knowing their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them, exactly as they are.

What does that boil down to? 

Diversity and inclusion ... 

Airmen come from different backgrounds, life experiences, languages, and generations, all which makes diversity our greatest strength in the Air Force. 

We have a high-performing workforce because we're able to take diverse perspectives from our brothers and sisters and get better results. By celebrating Pride Month, we are letting the LGBT community know, that just like everyone else, they are a part of the team and will be treated with dignity and respect. 

With June being Pride Month, it is important that everyone is aware of the recent policy change in reference to sexual orientation.

Prior to June 8, 2015, sexual orientation complaints could only be processed through either the chain of command or the inspector general. As of June 8, 2015, sexual orientation is now considered a basis for filing a military equal opportunity complaint.

Military members who feel they have been discriminated against, based on their sexual orientation, now have the option to file a complaint through the equal opportunity office. 

Even though sexual orientation does not fall under Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is not a protected category under federal law, the Department of Defense has implemented DOD Directive 1020.02E. The DOD Directive 1020.02E is another avenue for military members to utilize if they feel they have been subject to discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

About LGBT Pride Month
LGBT Pride Month is celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, New York. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the U.S., according to www.loc.gov. The last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.