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Staff Sgt. Monique Clarke, the guest speaker for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and equal opportunity information fair, July 30, 2015, shares her experiences as a gay service member and her passion for all Marines to lead fairly, regardless of their Marines’ sexual orientation. The event was hosted by 2nd Marine Logistics Group to help raise awareness and provide education after the recent addition of sexual orientation to the Equal Opportunity Program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Chelsea D. Toombs/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Chelsea D. Toombs

Sexual Orientation becomes part of Equal Opportunity Program; Pride event held to raise awareness

30 Jul 2015 | Cpl. Chelsea D. Toombs 2nd Marine Logistics Group

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group command hosted a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) information fair aboard Camp Lejeune, N. C., July 30.

The event provided education and awareness following the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected status under the Equal Opportunity Program, and included a guest speaker and booths with information for the attendees.

“When we hold these events we try to educate the Marines, sailors and their family members as a whole - regardless of sexual orientation or personal biases - that we all need to observe equality,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Althea Carabello, an Equal Opportunity representative and  chair leader for the event.

The event allowed the attendees to learn about the history of policy changes, as well as hear the personal stories of service members. With the recent addition of sexual orientation to the Equal Opportunity Program, and years after the abolishment of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the evolvement of the Marine Corps has had a significant impact in the lives of some service members

“The Marine Corps has definitely impressed me over the years,” said Staff Sgt. Monique Clarke, the guest speaker for the event. “I can see the change and because of that I am more passionate about it because I know that people are going to be more supportive the more they understand,” said Clarke. “We love people, just like you love people. It means a lot to me because now I can live my truth.”

2nd MLG is slated to host EO observances to recognize those who have contributed to our nation and military. Woman’s Equality Day observance is scheduled to take place in August.

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