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Hagel hails gay pride at transformed Pentagon

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USA TODAY
|
June 26, 2013
Issues: 

The most remarkable thing about the Pentagon celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month on Tuesday is how unremarkable it is.

The integration, if not full acceptance, of gay and lesbian troops (transgender need not try to enlist as they are barred from service) has come with lightning speed, at least by the Pentagon's standards.

In the months and years leading up to the repeal of the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy in July 2011, top brass resisted the change that would allow gay and lesbian troops to serve openly. The Marine Corps commandant at the time, Gen. James Conway, told the Senate that "don't ask don't tell" policy, which resulted in more than 14,500 gay troops being expelled from the armed forces when their sexuality became known, "works."