Head of US Army will lead Pride parade for first time

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The head of the US Army will lead a Pride parade for the first time.

Obama nominee Eric Fanning became the United States Secretary of the Army in May this year, making history as the first out man to head a military branch.

The appointment came less than five years on from ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ – which had banned openly gay people from serving in the military altogether.

It has now been announced that Mr Fanning will serve as Honorary Grand Marshal at San Diego Pride on Saturday.

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning said: “I am humbled to be the keynote speaker and an honorary Grand Marshal.

“As our community moves forward, we strive for full inclusion of all Americans who can do the job, and just want an opportunity to serve the Nation they love.”

Fernando Lopez, San Diego Pride Director of Operations said: “From José Sarria, to Harvey Milk, to Eric Fanning, LGBT service members and Department of Defense civilians have been a crucial part of the fabric of our movement and this nation.

“San Diego has such a vibrant LGBT service member and veteran community, we know his presence is going to mean the world to so many. It is an incredible honour to host Secretary Fanning at San Diego Pride.”

The Pride Parade has a history with the military dating back to 2011, when more than 200 active duty soldiers from all branches of the military marched in the parade – a year before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.