COMMENTARY: Editor's Notebook reflects on 2012 Pride, and an idiotic letter by Sen. Jim Inhofe

(Editor’s Notebook is an occasional commentary about the state of affairs in the LGBT community.)

Congratulations to San Diego Pride for the spectacular, history-making weekend ...

Heart-felt thanks to everyone behind the Hillcrest Pride Flag project. It is truly inspirational to see the rainbow flag flying over the heart of our community ...

The decision to lower the rainbow flag to half-staff in respect to the victims of the Colorado movie theater massacre is to be commended, even though protocol does not require that to happen since no American flag flies nearby. It shows that our community is a patriotic part of the diverse fabric of life that is the United States ...

A million hoorays to the 400-strong military continent that marched in the Pride Parade, with many of the active-duty service members wearing their dress uniforms. The brave service members represented the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard, and they deserved the salutes and the loud cheers from 200,000 spectators who appreciate their service to their country ...

Sen. Jim Inhofe is so wrong about Pride parades

Sour grapes go to U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who wears his homophobia as a badge of honor. Inhofe sent a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, questioning why the Department of Defense allowed active-duty service members to wear their uniforms at the Pride Parade. Inhofe contends that the Pride Parade is a political event and thus service members are barred from participating while in uniform.

Inhofe wrote this to Panetta:

“If the Navy can punish a chaplain for participating in a pro-life event or a Marine participating in a political rally, it stands to reason that the Defense Department should maintain the same standard and preclude service members in uniform from marching in a gay pride parade.”

Inhofe is TOTALLY wrong on this issue. A Pride parade is NOT a political event, but a civic event not unlike a Veterans Day parade, a Fourth of July parade or a parade for Little League champions.

San Diego Pride Parade is the largest civic event in America’s Finest City. In fact, this year, we set an attendance record with almost 200,000 people lining the streets of Hillcrest. San Diego’s parade is one of the largest ones in the United States, drawing tourists from around the world, straight and gay.

Imhofe is playing politics on this matter. But look closely at Imhofe: He was one of the leading opponents of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so he is using this issue as red meat for his right-wing supporters.

The Senator, in a companion statement to the letter, accused the Obama Administration of forcing “its liberal social agenda on the military by promoting the homosexual agenda.” More red meat!

San Diego military activist Sean Sala, a veteran of the Navy and one of the organizers of the military contingent for the past two years, called out Imhofe and his cronies from the right wing.

“The only people being political are the Republicans who are still trying to discriminate against LGBT service members,” Sala told a local newspaper and posted on his Facebook page today.

Sala said the Pentagon policy was followed in the parade becauseneither being gay nor being in the military is a political statement.

Bingo! Could not have said that better myself!

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.

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