By Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy joins the nation in recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride month during the month of June.
Established by Presidential Proclamation in 2000, LGBT Pride Month is held annually and recognizes the importance of diversity within our society as well as the many achievements of LGBT individuals. This year's theme is celebration, and calls Americans to eliminate prejudice and celebrate our diversity.
"Americans have always worked to fulfill that exceptional promise made at our founding," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "We have continually broken down artificial barriers to equal opportunity ... Our military forces have followed that same history and made themselves stronger and better and more effective because of it."
This June, the Navy recognizes LGBT service members and civilians for their dedicated service to our country.
"Diversity is a source of strength for the Navy, and is [a] key component to maintaining our highest state of readiness," said a Navy spokesperson. "Diversity encompasses more than race and gender -- we seek to include diversity of thought, background, language, culture and skills as well. Our force comes from a diverse populous, and we are simply better at what we do when we are more diverse. We want individuals to serve who are right for the job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and creed. Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the best-qualified and the most capable service members."
For service members, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011 allowed gay, lesbian and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces.
Currently, the Department of Defense is reviewing its transgender policy for the armed forces.
For more information about LGBT Pride Month, visit: http://www.deomi.org/contribute/SpecialObservance/Pride.cfm/.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.