The US Marine Corps has released a statement celebrating Pride month and a decade since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and one officer is on a mission to shut down homophobes who disagree.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the official White House policy that barred openly gay, bisexual and lesbian people from serving in the US military.
The Marine Corps released a statement in support of its LGBT+ members at the beginning of Pride month, which said: “During [Pride] month, we take the opportunity to recognise our LGBT service members and reflect upon the past.
“We celebrate their successes and recognise the contributions they have brought to our Corps.
“This year we celebrate the ten year anniversary of the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ .”
It added: “Commanders and leaders are encouraged to take time to recognise the 2020 LGBT Pride Month, and promote participation in observance events throughout their local communities.”
However, the statement went largely unnoticed until it was posted on Facebook by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina.
The post quickly amassed more than 2,000 comments, and while a lot were supportive, many others were severely offended by the celebration of LGBT+ marines.
This year we celebrate the ten year anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. The Marine Corps takes pride in…
One man wrote: “Never thought I’d see this BS…I’m all for doing your own thing, but for it to be celebrated… wtf, over!”
Luckily, Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Bobby Yarbrough, who conducts communication, strategy and operations for the Marine Corps, was there to shut down the homophobes.
In a response, Yarbrough wrote: “We also celebrate Black History Month, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Month of the Military Child, etc. Should we stop celebrating those too?”
Another anti-LGBT+ commenter wrote: “What in the heck is this about? Is this what the Corps is coming to? A social experiment?”
Yarbrough swooped in again, responding: “Nope. We still fight wars. Some of our warfighters are LGBT. We like them to know we support them.”
When another commented that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell worked just fine”, the CWO hit back: “I would imagine all the LGBT [people] that was kicked out of service would disagree. No heterosexuals were kicked out due to sexuality.
“The policy was terrible and needed to go away.”
A more positive commenter told Yarbrough: “Sir, may I please have your command photo so I may turn it into a candle and place next to my Joe Exotic one?
“Your clap backs are legen-f**ken-dary.”