OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, is holding its first annual OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning tomorrow and running through the weekend.
According to OutServe's website, the conference will enhance "military readiness through encouraging an environment of respect with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity" by offering the LGBT military community "a means of building professional networks, sharing best practices and formulating strategies that help build a stronger military community."
With the ink on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" barely dry and the issue of LGB (not to mention T) military personal still ferociously debated (to say the least), OutServe is well aware the Summit will draw an immense amount of attention -- including scrutiny from those who believe DADT should be reinstated.
While it's never wise or fair to judge a group based on the actions of a few, and even though straight people do dumb things all the time and their behavior isn't held up as emblematic of all heterosexuals, the last thing OutServe needs is a scandal.
In order to avoid giving "enemies of equality" any fuel to feed their fires, OutServe has released a "Code Of Conduct" that they are asking attendees to abide by while at the conference:
Central to the purpose of this conference is growing environments of respect and understanding within the military and the country as a whole. Please remember, the enemies of equality could use a discipline failure by a single attendee
to overshadow all the good work achieved here. Therefore, we ask that all Summit attendees respect and adhere to the following guidance:
1. We represent the Armed Forces of the United States or her Allies.
Our conduct should reflect the highest expectations of these forces at all times.
2. Military standards of conduct apply even in Vegas: fraternization, political speech in uniform, and misuse of alcohol or drugs are always wrong.
3. “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” does not apply in an era of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and cable news. Assume there is a camera on you at all times when outside the workshops.
4. Every service member has a First Amendment right to speak to the media. You can also say “no.” If you have questions, speak to the Summit staff. While at the Summit, media may not attribute quotes to you or photograph you for publication without your express permission.
5. Save undue attention: do not wear of military uniforms or OutServe T-Shirts outside of conference functions.
6. Most importantly: Contribute, dedicate yourself to growth within our military, have fun, and represent your services well.