Politics
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 file picture, Cadet Karyn Powell stands during a midday formation at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Two decades after integration of the U.S. military, race riots flared on Navy warships in the Vietnam era. Sexual harassment of servicewomen is still pervasive, long after they were officially placed on equal footing with men. Now the military has a new social challenge - allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the ranks. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File) FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 file picture, Cadet Karyn Powell stands during a midday formation at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Two decades after integration of the U.S. military, race riots flared on Navy warships in the Vietnam era. Sexual harassment of servicewomen is still pervasive, long after they were officially placed on equal footing with men. Now the military has a new social challenge - allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the ranks. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)  

CIA to sponsor LGBT advocacy group summit

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

With the country mired in a grave debate about the debt and government spending, the CIA confirmed Monday that they are sponsoring a gay advocacy group’s summit on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military members.

“The Central Intelligence Agency sponsorship exemplifies the climate of mutual respect for all that was cultivated on Secretary [Leon] Panetta’s watch,” said Jonathan Hopkins combat veteran and the DC managing director for the host group, OutServe. (Panetta seems to tie Iraq to 9/11 in Baghdad speech)

“Promoting diversity within the CIA’s ranks — in its many forms — is a top priority for the Agency,” Marie Harf, CIA spokesman told TheDC.

The CIA joins the Human Rights Campaign, Amazon, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Coverity, Out & Equal, Log Cabin Republicans, Stonewall Democrats of Southern Nevada, and the American Veterans for Equal Rights to put on the 2011 OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, Nev., this October.

“The OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit will provide an international forum on creating an environment of respect in the military with regards to sexual orientation and gender identity,” the Summit sponsorship page explains. “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.”

According to OutServe’s summit page, sponsorships cost up to $50,000. The CIA’s sponsorship was in the $10,000 range. The agency will headline a panel with Amazon about LGBT careers after military service.

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