American military academies celebrate first gay pride events

Christopher Brocklebank March 28, 2012
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This week saw the first gay pride events being celebrated at military academies in the USA, six months after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

At Vermont’s Norwich University – which is the country’s oldest private military academy – the first gay pride week kicked off with talks about bullying and harassment.

At the prestigious West Point military academy, a group of alumni known as Knights Out plan to hold a campus dinner this weekend, with at least a dozen cadets in attendance.

Knights Out’s director, Sue Fulton, a 1980 West Point graduate who was among the first women admitted to the academy, said: “The official status has changed dramatically, in that public events that would have been prohibited are happening, but in terms of attitudes, I think cadets and midshipmen have long been supportive of their gay and lesbian classmates.”

At Norwich however, a handful of the Christian Fellowship members were not been quite so accommodating, though they are trying to work together.

Biology emeritus professor Carlos Pinkham, the Norwich Christian group’s faculty adviser, said: “We make it clear to them that we use the Bible as our guide and that as a result we can’t condone the stuff they do. But the Bible is also equally clear, in fact, even more clear [that] being judgmental about the sin without extending love to the sinner is another form of sin.”

More: Americas, Carlos Pinkham, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Knights Out, Norwich Military Academy, Sue Fulton, US, Vermont, West Point

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