Gay service personnel can wear uniforms in parade, Pentagon rules
An announcement from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense said that wearing their uniforms is permitted "provided service members participate in their personal capacity and ensure the adherence to miltary service standards of appearance and wear of the military uniform."
The decision marks the first time that gay personnel will be permitted to wear their uniforms in a gay parade.
Saturday's parade through the Hillcrest neighborhood is San Diego's first gay pride parade since the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" rule that prohibited gay military personnel from serving openly.
Last year, upward of 200 active-duty and retired military personnel marched in the parade. Many wore T-shirts with the name of their branch of service.
Dwayne Crenshaw, executive director of San Diego Pride, said the Pentagon's decision "is a giant leap in the right direction'' toward full equality for gays and lesbians in the military.
Military rules bar personnel from wearing their uniforms in any way that will "bring discredit" to the armed services or appears to take sides in a political issue.
The announcement ensures that all military personnel are covered by the same policy. Before the announcement, the decision was being made by individual commands.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Military personnel in last year's LGBT Pride Festival parade in San Diego. Credit: Getty Images