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SAN DIEGO – Upwards of 200,000 spectators today will witness history in the making when hundreds of America’s active duty service members will be allowed for the first time to march in their uniforms at a gay pride parade.
San Diego Pride Parade’s military contingent will include active duty members and veterans representing the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. The contingent is expected to get the loudest applause from Pride celebrants today.
The parade starts at 11 am today at Normal Street and heads west on University before turning south onto Sixth Avenue to Balboa Park. The Pride Festival follows at Balboa Park, today and Sunday, with hundreds of exhibits, food and drink, and nonstop entertainment throughout the festival site.
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News coverage of the military contingent this week triggered national coverage when it appeared that some troops were given approval to march in uniform and others were not. The confusion sparked outrage among local politicians and activists, who mounted a lively campaign to the Department of Defense (DoD) to allow all active duty service members to march in uniform. The DoD within hours issued blanket permission for all branches of the military to march in uniform at the 2012 San Diego Pride Parade.
Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.