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Published On: Fri, Jun 15th, 2012

Leon Panetta thanks gays and lesbians for their service to the US Armed Forces VIDEO

The pursuit of equality is fundamental to the American story, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said in a video message released today to thank gay and lesbian service members and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civilians for their dedicated service to the nation.

Leon Panetta Secretary of Defense Pentagon

Video still The Pentagon address, thanking gays and lesbians for their service in the military.

Recognizing June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, the secretary also thanked the families of gay and lesbian service members and LGBT civilians.

Diversity is one of the department’s greatest strengths, the secretary noted.

“During Pride Month, and every month, let us celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all,” he said.

In his video message, Panetta emphasized the military’s diversity. “The successful repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ proved to the nation that, just like the country we defend, we share different backgrounds, different values and different beliefs,” he said. “But together we form the greatest military force in the world.”

“Before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he said, “you faithfully served your country with professionalism and courage. And just like your fellow service members, you put your country before yourself.” Today, he added, they can be proud not only of serving their country, but also of who they are when in uniform.

The president also recognized June as LGBT Pride Month, noting that throughout the nation’s history, ordinary Americans have advocated for change and have “led a proud and inexorable march toward freedom, fairness and full equality under the law – not just for some, but for all.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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