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History Made: Gay National Guard Officers March In L.A. Gay Pride Parade


(Office of Assembly Speaker John A. Peréz)

Thousands of people took part in the 43rd Annual Gay Pride Parade Sunday in West Hollywood, including for the first time in the parade’s history a delegation from the California National Guard led by its Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, who marched alongside Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the first openly gay person elected speaker.

“Several of the Guardsmen marching … are gay and were marching openly for the first time as members of the Armed Forces,” Pérez said in a statement released following the parade.

In another first, the California National Guard also had a recruiting booth at the Pride Festival following the parade.

“We are a performance-based force, and one’s sexual orientation shouldn’t affect their ability to serve and excel,” said Maj. Gen. Baldwin. “Duty to one’s state and nation – not sexual orientation – is the defining trait of our soldiers and airmen.”