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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pritzker Military Museum hosting June 23 Pride panel
2021-06-09

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Chicago's Pritzker Military Museum & Library is presenting a panel discussion, "Exploring the Intersection of the U.S. Military and the LGBTQ Community," on Wed., June 23, at noon CT in celebration of Pride Month.

The virtual event will feature military service people in the LGBTQ community who will share their experiences, and explain how policy changes have affected their service.

Moderated by National Center for Transgender Equality Founder/Executive Director Mara Keisling, the panel will feature U.S. Army Capt. El Cook; Nic Talbott, a plaintiff in four original legal cases challenging the transgender ban in court; and Melissa Margain, a CDVS-II Army combat veteran.

The U.S. Military has had a complex history with the LGBTQ community. Since the 1940s, same-sex relationships were classified as a mental illness, meaning gay men and lesbians were disqualified for service. In 1982, a military policy officially banned gay men and lesbians from their ranks; previously, same-sex relations were criminal and a cause for discharge.

In 1993 the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was enacted, allowing only closeted LGBTQ people to serve in the military. It wasn't until 18 years later that Congress repealed this policy, finally allowing LGB people to serve openly in the military. In 2013, spousal and family benefits were extended to same-sex married partners and, in 2021, after a temporary ban, transgender individuals were again allowed to enlist and serve.

RSVP at www.pritzkermilitary.org/shop/pritzker-military-presents-exploring-the-intersection-of-the-u-s-military-and-the-lgbtq-community .


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