By Scott Wakefield, TACOM Public AffairsJune 27, 2019
DETROIT ARESENAL, Mich. (June 25, 2019) -- The Detroit Arsenal hosted Dana Nessel, Michigan's Attorney General, as guest speaker for this year's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month observance on June 25 in the building 200 auditorium.
This year's theme, "Pride in All Who Serve" celebrates the significant contributions of LGBT soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and civilians to the Department of Defense mission.
Attorney General Nessel accepted the invitation from the United States Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command to speak to arsenal employees saying, "she never thought she would be celebrating pride month on a military installation."
She went on to say, "it's a great thing for all of America, when we have equality for everyone, and everyone can serve."
Nessel began her political career in 2018 when she was elected as the 54th Attorney General of Michigan, and the first openly LGBT candidate elected to statewide office in the state.
She talked about what motivated her to seek office and her beliefs on what will drive her during her tenure in office saying, "a government works best when it doesn't discriminate against its own residents."
The attorney general says she wants her time in office to be dedicated to the "continuation of equality and justice and equal protection under the law for all people in this state and the nation" because she said we are a stronger nation when everyone has the same rights and the same protections.
Before Nessel was elected, she spent time both as a prosecutor and later in her career as a defense lawyer. She became involved in LGBT cases mainly because other lawyers wouldn't take on the cases and she felt she had to do what "she felt was right."
Some of the cases she has defended have involved parental rights and numerous clients targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. She was also instrumental in the legalization of same sex marriages in the United States, when she brought the case of "DeBoer v. Snyder" before the U.S. Sixth Circuit court in 2012, which was then combined with a larger case and taken before the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision the court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
President Bill Clinton issued the first presidential proclamation declaring June as Gay and Lesbian Pride month on June 11, 1999. This initiative commemorates the first acts of public defiance by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities to police harassment, persecution, and violent acts against their community.
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, in the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village section of New York City, a group of police officers conducted a raid on the establishment. Patrons from within the bar and a crowd that had gathered outside during the raid began taunting the police. The confrontation escalated into a full-blown riot that lasted for four days.
The Gay Liberation Movement was born and rapidly swept across the United States. The first pride parades were held the following year in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
From Stonewall (1969), to President Clinton's Proclamation for Pride month (1999), to marriage equality (2012), to the first openly LGBT politician elected to a statewide office in Michigan (2018), Nessel summed up the struggle when she said "equality doesn't always come as quickly as you would like it to, but it eventually will."
# # #
About Tank-automotive and Armaments Command:
TACOM is responsible for the synchronization, integration and delivery of Soldier and ground systems materiel readiness solutions to ensure the Army is the world's most lethal and versatile fighting force.
TACOM's Integrated Logistics Support Center facilitates warfighting readiness for U.S. forces by executing repair parts planning and supply chain management for more than 3,500 weapon systems. These systems form the core of America's ground combat capability. When the force needs critical components delivered, whether at home or abroad, it depends on TACOM.
TACOM's six manufacturing arsenals, and maintenance depots manufacture and reset ground and support equipment, operational capability throughout Army formations as part of the Army's Organic Industrial Base. When the force needs equipment or parts manufactured, repaired, upgraded or modernized, industrial artisans from the Army's OIB deliver.
The Detroit Arsenal, home to TACOM headquarters, is the only active-duty U.S. Army installation in the tri-state (Michigan, Ohio and Indiana) area. Detroit Arsenal and its Michigan-based workforce of more than 6000 people contribute billions of dollars in economic impact to the state's economy each year.
TACOM's workforce includes highly skilled and uniquely qualified professionals, from industrial artisans to senior logisticians and business analysts. The largely civilian workforce is critical to supporting Army readiness.