Veterans Day: Saluting Our Troops While Pushing for More Equality

Today, GLAAD joins the country in saluting the millions of military veterans who work to ensure that America remains a safe place for everyone to actualize their hopes and dreams. And with the recent repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law we proudly stand with our LGB service members who no longer are forced to lie about who they are to their friends and colleagues.

“At long last, gay and lesbian service members can serve their country openly and honestly. The courage, perseverance and patriotism displayed by the American military shines even more brightly today as our nation strengthens its national security and takes a firm stand against discrimination in our Armed Forces,” said Acting GLAAD President Mike Thompson. 

Although the recent end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” certainly makes this Veterans Day extra special, the military still has more progress to make towards full equality.

Openly transgender Americans are still unable to serve their country in the armed forces, no matter how skilled or capable they are.  And because of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” gay and lesbian Americans who legally marry their spouses may not have their marriages recognized by the state where they reside, their employers, or the federal government. This leaves gay and lesbian service members less able to care for their families, and less protected against potential tragedy.

On this historic day, and in this time of celebration, we call on the media to highlight the heroric stories of  brave men and women who daily devote their lives to our freedom but also indidivuals who remain in shadows of our armed services. Already, the Associated Press has told the stories of people like Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner of 11 years Dan Swezy, who were married exactly one minute after midnight in Vermont. and the New York Times profiled the founder of OutServe "J.D. Smith" who is finally able to reveal his true identity and 1st Lt. Josh Seefried, a 25-year-old active-duty Air Force officer.

We thank the media for telling these stories, and ask reporters and journalists to continue to do so in their coverage of Veterans Day.