Pentagon To Hold First-Ever Gay Pride Event Tuesday

The Pentagon is hosting its first gay pride event.

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In this July 16, 2011 photo, two women, both active duty sailors in the Navy who gave their names as Nikki, left, and Lisa, kiss as they march in the Gay Pride Parade in San Diego.

Less than a year after the Defense Department's "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy toward gay and lesbian service members was repealed, the Pentagon says it will hold its first-ever Gay Pride event Tuesday.

The event is likely to be a more toned-down version of the Gay Pride parades that take place every June in cities around the world—sans the flags, wigs, beads and boas. (Though some have suggested rainbow camo or berets.)

Instead, the Pentagon has planned a somber-sounding panel discussion entitled "The Value of Open Service and Diversity," according to a Defense Department press release.

The event will also have a keynote speaker: the Pentagon's top lawyer Jeh Johnson, who co-chaired the 2010 study on how a DADT repeal might affect combat operations, housing and other issues, according to the Washington Post.

Johnson, along with co-chair U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, concluded in the study: "While a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' will likely, in the short term, bring about some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread or long-lasting."

Several months after the report, in December 2010, DADT was repealed.

As Gay Pride events took place across the country this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued his own Pride Month message to gays and lesbians in the military, saying he was "very proud of how we implemented repeal" of DADT. "Diversity is one of our greatest strengths," he said.

WATCH the full message below:

  • See: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Cartoons
  • Half Of New Officers Oppose Gays In The Military
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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at eflock@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.