Monday, June 15, 2015
Intelligence agencies quite visible with booths at Capital Pride on Sunday
Sunday, the Capital Pride Festival was a little more modest than in the past, partly due to very hot and humid conditions. Cloud cover helped at mid afternoon, and thunderstorms came around 5 PM. The Festival was held between 3rd and 7th Streets on Pennsylvania Ave,, right before the Capitol Dome under renovation.
One of the most interesting displays appeared on the immediate right upon entry. The intelligence services of the federal government had booths. I had noted this in writing up the 2013 event, but now the NGA, or National Geospatial Intelligence Agency had its own booth, and the CIA had expanded materials. These included a booklet that deals with sexual orientation. The CIA lifted the ban on gay employees at the end of 1995 (with Clinton’s XO for all civilian agencies), and at the time a relationship between a gay employee and a closeted member of the military under “don’t ask don’t tell” could have posed problems, as I had mentioned in the long Chapter 4 of my first DADRT book. The booklet now says that sexual orientation is not directly asked during security or medical screening, but a background investigation may imply it (as it would for heterosexuals) as intimate partners are checked by a BI. The booklet mentions the DOMA decision and same-sex partner benefits.
SLDN-Outserve is there, but is largely supplanted by the Military Partners Association, or Military Spouses and Families.
I did not see a lot happening on the stage while I was there.