OutServe’s Armed Forces Leadership Summit will be welcoming some 200 currently serving LGBT and allied military members, veterans, and spouses/partners to participate in workshops and meetings moving forward. Among the topics that will be discussed will be leadershipo, family, faith, and the unique challenges faced by service women. On the subject of faith, the topic is very important right now given that House Armed Services Chairman Representative Buck McKeon wants to impose his religious beliefs on the chaplains of the military.
Still, about this first conference, Air Force 1st Lieutenant Josh Seefried, OutServe’s co-director “Diversity is rightly viewed by the military as a force multiplier. All of us in the Armed Forces share the same mission, and by taking advantage of our unique differences and points of view, we become stronger.”
According to the press release “The conference will provide an international forum on creating an environment of respect in the military with regards to sexual orientation and gender identity, and provide the LGBT military community a venue for building professional networks, sharing best practices and formulating strategies that help build a stronger military community.”
Among those who will be there are Chaplains from the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, who will speak about professionalism and pluralism in the chaplaincy. Former Marine Captain Anu Bhagwati of Service Women’s Action Network will be discussing the special concerns of military women, and there will be many others.
Former Army Captain Jonathan Hopkins, a decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan stated “This is very much a series of working sessions. DADT is done; now let’s get to work on getting the most out of every individual through that environment of respect.”
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is one of the sponsors of this particular conferences. There will also be people from them who will be there presenting. Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis stated “SLDN is honored to participate in this historic gathering of service members representing more than 60,000 LGBT patriots now serving in our nation’s military. We honor their service and sacrifice – as well as so many who served in silence before them. With the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ behind us, it’s time to take the next steps for equality, including an executive order from President Obama that would prohibit discrimination in the ranks on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The other sponsors include “the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the Central Intelligence Agency, Amazon, Courage Campaign, American Veterans for Equal Rights, Out & Equal, Log Cabin Republicans, Stonewall Democrats, Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Wells Fargo, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, PRIDE Institute, and Coverity. The conference runs from 13 October through 16 October in Las Vegas.