( WASHINGTON, D.C. ) September 6, 2018 — As she graces the cover of TIME Magazine today, OutServe-SLDN is pleased to announce that Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, will headline and be honored at OutServe-SLDN's 25th Anniversary Year Kickoff Reception in Washington on Wednesday, October 3rd. The event, Serving with Pride, will be held at Arena Stage in Southwest Washington, DC from 6:30pm-8:30pm.
"It is a privilege and honor to announce Leader Pelosi as the headline honoree for our 25th anniversary kickoff event this October. She is a true champion and exceptional ally of the LGBT community. From her work to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell as Speaker of the House of Representatives to her vocal and persistent opposition to the Trump Administration's ban on transgender service members, Leader Pelosi is truly a profile in courage, persistence and effectiveness," said Matt Thorn, President & CEO of OutServe-SLDN. "OutServe-SLDN could not be more honored to begin the celebration of our 25th Anniversary with a dedicated public servant who has consistently put others before herself. Leader Pelosi is the quintessential definition of an LGBT ally and champion.
The precursor organization to OutServe-SLDN, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, was founded in Washington in 1993 in the wake of the adoption of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy forbidding open LGBT service in the nation's military. In the 25 years since, SLDN merged with OutServe in 2012, Military Partners and Families Coalition ( MPFC ) in 2017 and is now the nation's preeminent advocacy and legal services organization for LGBT servicemembers, veterans and their families.
Leader Pelosi is being honored at the 25th Anniversary kickoff in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of the LGBT military community. Pelosi helped lead the fight against the implementation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 1990s. As Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2010, she passed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" signed by President Barack Obama. She has also been a vital and vocal opponent of rollbacks to the advancements made over the last decade, particularly the Trump Administration's transgender servicemember ban.
"The incalculable contributions of our proud and courageous LGBTQ servicemembers have helped move our nation closer to fulfilling the promise of freedom and equality for all," said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "It is an immense honor to be recognized by the exceptional leaders at OutServe-SLDN. For years, these fierce, tireless advocates have refused to stay silent in our shared fight to ensure that brave LGBTQ servicemembers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. From expanding hate crimes protections, repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and fighting the Trump Administration's attacks on the transgender community, together, we have strengthened the right of all people to life, liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness regardless of who they are or whom they love."
OutServe-SLDN will mark its 25th Anniversary with a series of activities beginning with this kickoff event along with panels and special programming which will culminate with a gala celebration in spring of 2019. For more information, visit the website at www.outserve-sldn.org .
—From a OS-SLDN press release
OutServe-SLDN ( OS-SLDN ) is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. With more than fifty chapters and 6,000 members around the world, OS-SLDN supports a professional network of LGBT military personnel and strives to create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org .