In September 2011, President Obama ended the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that for 17 years allowed LGBTQ to serve in the United States military only if they kept their sexual orientation secret and the military didn’t find out about it.
The repeal of this oppressive practice enabled gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals to serve openly.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs’ Minority and Underrepresented Veterans Division will host a webinar commemorating the repeal on September 24, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Keynote speaker is CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD, an out-and-proud gay man, who served the majority of his career as an Army surgeon under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Other scheduled speakers include Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, District 44; Xochitl Rodriguez Murillo, CalVet Deputy Secretary for Minority and Underrepresented Veterans, who will also serve as master of ceremonies; and Major General Matthew Beevers of the California National Guard.
Presentations by Swords to Plowshares, Equality California, and the Modern Military Association of America also are scheduled. The webinar will highlight current needs of LGBTQ veterans and their families.
More information, along with a link to the webinar visit the Minority and Underrepresented Veterans page at www.calvet.ca.gov/MinorityVets/Pages/LGBT.aspx.