Sailor Files Complaint: Navy Ship Staff Ignoring Pride Month

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com June 18 2014 2:35 PM ET

While U.S. Navy ships, bases, and the Pentagon itself are celebrating LGBT Pride month with banners, cakes, and events, at least one San Diego-based aircraft carrier may not be joining the festivities.

Former sailor Sean Sala said he has heard multiple complaints from sailors on board the USS Carl Vinson, who say the command staff has ignored requests for an event observing Pride Month, San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV reports.

When coordinating one event that was verbally approved for the end of the month, a commanding officer said the words "gay and lesbian" could not be spoken over the loudspeaker to promote it. Posters that are already on board the ship show that the term "transgender" has also been removed. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the policy on transgender service members must be reviewed, currently transgender people cannot serve openly in the military, because being transgender is considered a psychological disorder. Transgender civilians, however, do work for the Department of Defense.

The LGBT sailors on board the aircraft carrier said they would have an impromptu private event if their festivities are not officially approved in writing. Meanwhile, a statement from the Navy says the service cannot comment on the specific ship, but that the Navy is "not aware of any scheduled commemoration regarding LGBT Pride Month to be held aboard Carl Vinson."