JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Brooke Army Medical Center held a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month observance June 28. June was selected as Pride month to commemorate an event that happened in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City. These riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay community against continued police harassment.
Col. Michael E. Ludwig, BAMC Deputy Commander for Inpatient Services, said “we’ve come a long way since then.
“I believe as a nation and as a military, we have made great strides toward equality for all people, but we need to keep moving forward – to stand up and fight for what we know to be right,” Ludwig said. “People should not be measured by race, religion, background, sexual preference or sexual orientation – but by their capabilities.”
Since the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal act became law in 2010, military members can now serve openly with honor. One such military member was the guest speaker for the event, Col. Joshua Hawley-Molloy, program director of the Internal Medicine Residency for the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, or SAUSHEC, at Brooke Army Medical Center.
“At my first duty assignment, I thought of just coming out to my commander and asking for a discharge, but I quickly rejected the idea because I had always dreamed of serving in the Army like my father and grandfather,” Hawley-Molloy said. “I was determined to be an Army doctor and care for service members and their families, regardless of the anti-gay policy.”
Hawley-Molloy says that even though strides have been made for LGBT rights, there are still battles ahead such as legal protection from discrimination in housing and employment and Transgender rights.
BAMC Troop Command Sgt. Maj. Roderick Batiste closed the ceremony by saying people need to recognize that openness to diversity is one of the things that has allowed us to be the best military in the world.
“Today, people are more diverse, open and tolerant than past generations. If we are going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission, we have to be more open, diverse, and tolerant, too,” Batiste said. “This is vital for developing our future leaders. Let’s take pride in all who step forward to serve our country.”
The Department of Defense updated its equal opportunity program protecting service members against discrimination because of sexual orientation June 9, 2015.