OutServe to Hold 1st Convention for Gay Military Personnel in Las Vegas
My oh my. How far we’ve come in just the past six months. This could have never happened just two years ago. As John Aravois over at AMERICAblogGay points out, notice that one of the sponsors is the CIA, and that’s NOT the Culinary Institute of America. From the AP:
The nation’s only professional group for active-duty gay military personnel is holding its first conference in Las Vegas this weekend, an event only made possible by the recent lifting of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibited gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the armed forces.
The OutServe Leadership Summit is designed to highlight the diversity of gays in the military and the challenges they face, and marks the largest gathering of gay troops in one location since the ban was lifted last month. OutServe is a formerly clandestine network of gay and lesbian service members that lobbied the Pentagon to support repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
The four-day conference kicked off Thursday at the New York, New York hotel/casino with private meetings for leaders of the group’s 48 chapters around the world. At least 215 service members, veterans and civilian supporters — registration was capped to make the event manageable — have signed up to mingle and to attend panel discussions that range from marriage and the push to secure benefits for gay military spouses to post-military careers and the remaining ban on transgender troops. The CIA is among the event’s sponsors, and other scheduled workshops include topics such as Scriptures and Homosexuality.