A gay and lesbian alumni group for graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy is welcoming the first midshipmen who will graduate after repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Ninety-four people attended a dinner on Saturday that has been an annual event held by USNA Out since 2009. This year was different, however, because the repeal of the law increased the comfort level for students, said Brian Bender, USNA Out’s board chairman. Under the law that was repealed in September, military personnel could be discharged for revealing they were gay.
“It’s the first event where they were openly able to attend,” Bender said.
Bender also said in an interview that this year was significant for the number of people who attended, as well as the presence of senior officers.