by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, announced May 25 that it will host the first annual OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, on October 13-16 at New York-New York Hotel and Casino.
According to Sue Fulton, a media representative working for the organization, the OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit will provide an international forum on enhancing military readiness through encouraging an environment of respect with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.
In addition, it will provide the LGBT military community a means of building professional networks, sharing best practices, and formulating strategies that help build a stronger military community. The summit will feature respected and well-known authorities speaking on a range of topics, intriguing and groundbreaking panels, and interactive workshops that address diversity as a strength.
'We believe diversity is a force multiplier, and this conference will bring together veterans, active-duty military, and other experts to help us leverage LGBT inclusion for the benefit of military readiness,' said 'JD Smith,' OutServe's active-duty co-director, who is identified by a pseudonym while 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is still in effect.
'Building an environment of mutual respect is ingrained in our military values, and as active-duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who happen to be Gay, that's what we are working toward,' said JD.
Organizations and businesses are jumping quickly to sponsor the groundbreaking event. The Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Amazon.com, Courage Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans, and more have already signed on.
Among the many topics to be featured: how allied military forces have welcomed LGBT personnel, the latest research on diversity inside the military and out, and resources for LGBT military partners and families.
'As Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have shown us through their 'Joining Forces' project, supporting military families is supporting the military,' added JD. 'Providing resources to LGBT military partners and families is a priority for us since the military is currently prohibited from giving any spousal benefits to them.'
The OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit will be open to actively serving military personnel, the veteran community, civil servants, and interested civilians. OutServe is also proud to welcome our foreign military allies to the summit.
To register for the conference, go to www.outserve.org/summit.
With over 3,000 members and 42 chapters worldwide, OutServe is the one of the largest LGBT employee resource groups in the world. OutServe works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.
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