First US military gay convention meets this weekend

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The first convention for gay military personnel is meeting in Las Vegas this weekend.

The OutServe Leadership Summit, which began yesterday, is the largest gathering of openly gay troops since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed last month.

At least 215 troops are expected to join the summit and Associated Press reports that numbers were capped to ensure the event is manageable.

The convention was announced in May, two months before military chiefs certified that lifting the ban on out gay soldiers would not harm the military.

Organisers said that if the ban had not been lifted by now, the convention would have been postponed “out of respect for the military and for the policy”.

Discussions will include marriage equality, spousal benefits and the continuing ban on transgender troops.

Delegates have been asked to avoid political statements and told not to attend in uniform, as this is not an official military event.