Yesterday, the White House and the Office of the First Lady barred civilian representatives of gay and lesbian military families from the "Joining Forces" initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families. "It is rather unfortunate that both East Wing and West Wing staff have refused to allow a representative of gay military families to even be in the room at an event that is supposed to honor their commitment and sacrifice," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United. The White House and the office of the First Lady then tried to use Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as an excuse, saying that DADT "still remains the law." But Nicholson was having none of it and complained in a statement that "[t]he First Lady's office has used the continued enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as an excuse to exclude us, even though they know that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' does not apply to the civilians who work at their advocacy and service organizations."
"Many straight organizational representatives have been invited to this event, including some with few or no military families in their constituencies," he added. "Yet our thousands of gay military families are shut out from being represented today because of nothing but lingering political homophobia. Gay and lesbian military families should not have to fight this hard just to stand in the back of the room in 2011."
And in fact, the White House guest list for the event did include a number of business leaders who do not appear to have a direct connection to the military. (via CBS News)