U.S. Military Color Guard to March in D.C. Pride Parade

An eight-member contingent of a U.S. Armed Services Color Guard, which has accompanied D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade since 2014, will continue that tradition this year during the June 10 parade, according to Capital Pride board president Bernie Delia.

Delia said the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, which is in charge of Color Guard contingents in the D.C. area, notified Capital Pride on April 23 that it had approved the Color Guard’s participation in the parade this year.

Color Guard contingents usually consist of members of all five branches of the military wearing full dress uniforms and who carry the American flag and the flags for the military branches, including the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

The Color Guard contingent has drawn loud applause from spectators lining the streets during each of the past three years it has accompanied the parade.

Delia and Capital Pride Executive Director Ryan Bos said that similar to each year since 2014, the Color Guard members will march behind a group of motorcyclists called Out Riders that were formerly known as Dykes on Bikes in a procession ahead of and separate and distinct from the first official contingent in the parade.

This year, Delia said, the first parade contingent will consist of trans queer youth and other members of the city’s transgender community.

Following behind them will be a contingent of the parade’s 2017 Grand Marshals, who will include veteran national LGBT activists Jim Obergefell, Mandy Carter, Nicole Murray-Ramirez, and Edie Windsor.

Obergefell and Windsor were the lead plaintiffs in two separate landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases that opened the way for legalizing marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. Carter is a longtime lesbian rights and African-American civil rights advocate. Murray-Ramirez, a San Diego Human Rights Commissioner, has been involved in LGBT rights causes for more than 40 years, has helped organize past LGBT rights marches on Washington, and is a member of the organizing committee for this year’s national LGBT equality march on Washington scheduled for June 11.