In recognition of Gay Pride Month, the Pentagon
released a video address of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thanking gay and lesbian service members. The address comes about nine months after the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, banning gay active-duty members from serving openly, was repealed.
The story began in December 2010, when Congress officially repealed the policy, but it remained in place until Sept. 20, 2011. To celebrate Gay Pride Month, we've put together a gallery of gays in the military.
Former and active duty Navy sailors gather before the Gay Pride Parade Saturday, July 16, 2011, in San Diego. More than 200 active duty troops and war veterans waving small American flags alongside rainbow banners marched in San Diego's gay pride parade in what is believed to be the first time an identifiable group of active duty troops has participated in such an event in the U.S. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Army Lt. Daniel (Dan) Choi emerges from a meeting with Senator Harry Reid D-NV at the Senate Majority Leader's Office on Wednesday, December 22, 2010. Choi was retrieving his West Point ring after the Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed, he had given the ring to Reid to hold on to until the repeal was final. (Ã‚Â©2010 Chet Susslin)
Julian Chang of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, from left, cheers with Senator Mark Leno, retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning, veteran Keith Kerr, and retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer Joseph Rocha at a news conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. The U.S. military passed a historic milestone Tuesday with the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in uniform, ending a prohibition that President Barack Obama said had forced gay and lesbian service members to "lie about who they are." (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Marissa Gaeta and Citlalic Snell, first lesbian Navy kiss (National Journal)
Sgt. Brandon Morgan, right, is embraced by his partner Dalan Wells in a helicopter hangar at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in this photo made Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. The photo, made some five months after the repeal of the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy prohibiting gay servicemen from openly acknowledging their sexuality, is among the first showing a gay active duty serviceman in uniform kissing his partner at a homecoming. (AP Photo/David Lewis)
Norwich University's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Allies Club display is seen in the library for guests and students to learn more about their issues and programs at the Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. on Monday, March 26, 2012. Barely six months after the expiration of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting gay service members from serving openly, the nation's oldest private military academy is holding its first gay pride week. (AP Photo/Alison Redlich)
In this Saturday, May 26, 2012 photo, Kaitlyn Kelly, center, reacts after a graduation and commissioning ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. At West Point, the alumni gay advocacy group Knights Out was able to hold the first installment in March of what is intended to be an annual dinner in recognition of gay and lesbian graduates and cadets. Kelly was among the dozens of cadets who attended the privately sponsored dinner. The 22-year-old Chicago resident was finally able to openly introduce her civilian girlfriend at an event marking 100 days before graduation. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Tracey Ballard of the Central Intelligence Agency recruits active members of the military at the OutServe Armed Forces Leadership summit Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in Las Vegas. Employers use the summit to recruit GLBT military personnel. 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." (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)