Conservative culture warriors may want to skip Saturday's big gay pride parade in Washington, seeing as how Dykes With Bikes will be joined by a Pentagon-approved U.S. military color guard—believed to be a first in the nation's history.
The Department of Defense has authorized what military gay-rights groups and organizers of the Capital Pride parade say is a first nationwide — a color guard that will present the red, white and blue as well as flags of each branch of the military.
The eight-member team is scheduled to help lead off the 1.5-mile parade, immediately preceding the Capital Pride lead banner and grand marshal Chris Kluwe, the former NFL punter and author of the book "Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies."
Pentagon officials can't say for sure whether it's the first-ever active uniformed color guard at a gay pride event, since many color guards are arranged on local levels at reserve units.
But it's definitely the first handled on a federal level, and most of the LGBT groups who have requested armed forces honor guards since the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell said they were regularly rejected by military handlers for sketchy reasons: "They've said they didn't have a team ready to go, which is a lie because they have a color guard for every Tom, Dick and Henry."
The D.C. organizer, Capital Pride president Bernie Delia, said he had half-expected similar treatment this year. "We knew we might get turned down, but we asked and they said 'yes,' " Delia said. "I think that's very significant."