PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. - The Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina is getting much attention over the way Marines are responding to those who opposed the depot’s Facebook post acknowledging Pride Month.
"During the month of June, the Marine Corps takes #Pride in recognizing and honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members," the depot posted on Facebook on June 1. "We remain committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, and defend the values of treating all equally, with dignity and respect."
The post has received more than 2,000 likes, 480 shares and nearly 2,000 comments — but not all were supportive.
"Seems today sir in this politically correct society anybody can join my beloved Corps, men that like men, women who like women," one user commented.
"How does someone’s sexuality prevent them from fulfilling their oath?," the Marines responded before posting the oath in written form.
"This is a sad day! If I could I would return my title, US Marine! What happened to United we stand, divided we fall?" another user commented.
"The freedoms you enjoy are currently protected by those serving in the ranks, which includes LGBTQ. You are welcome for their service," the Marines responded.
"My Marine Corps has gone woke. God help us," another person wrote.
"If by ‘woke’ you mean showing appreciation to a group who has made major contributions to the U.S. Military….then yes. Have a meritorious day!," the Marines continued
However, many comments supported the Marines’ original post.
"My dad fought for the rights of every last one of us," one user posted.
"Our Marine Corps has adapted to change and overcame adversity time and time again….and here we are in 2022 still leading from the front," another Facebooker posted.
Gays and lesbians were banned in the military until the 1993 approval of "don’t ask, don’t tell," which allowed them to serve only if they did not openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. Rather than helping, advocates say, the policy actually created more problems. In its entire history, the military dismissed more than 100,000 service members based on their sexual or gender identities — 14,000 of them during "don’t ask, don’t tell."
Repeal of the law was approved by Congress and President Barack Obama in late 2010 and took effect nine months later, allowing lesbian, gay and bisexual people to serve openly.
Transgender people were allowed to serve openly in the military beginning in 2016, but the Trump administration largely banned them in 2019. Although President Joe Biden overturned the ban earlier this year, formal policies are still being drafted at some locations.
President Joe Biden is calling for equality, recently signing a proclamation declaring June 2022 as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Pride Month."
"Today, the rights of LGBTQI+ Americans are under relentless attack," the president stated. "Members of the LGBTQI+ community — especially people of color and trans people — continue to face discrimination and cruel, persistent efforts to undermine their human rights."
Biden said the work isn’t done as he calls on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which will extend civil rights protections to the LGBTQI+ community.
"We reaffirm our belief that LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.