Complaint: Command staff of USS Carl Vinson nixes attempts to observe LGBT Pride Month

SAN DIEGO - Team 10 has learned a Navy officer filed a complaint with the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General on Wednesday, claiming the command staff of a San Diego-based aircraft carrier has shut the door on attempts to recognize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month this June.

On ships and bases across the country, LGBT Pride Month has been recognized after a recent Pentagon memo encouraged the military to observe the month.

In one photo taken aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, the words "LGBT Pride Month" were printed in frosting. In another photo obtained by Team 10, a poster hanging in a hallway on Camp Pendleton also touts LGBT Pride Month.

On board the USS Carl Vinson, it is a different story, according to LGBT advocate and former sailor Sean Sala.

He says several sailors have contacted him, frustrated that the command staff was dragging its feet after sailors requested an event observing Pride Month.

Two weeks ago – after Sala made some inquiries – one of the sailors, an officer, said the commanding officer verbally approved a late June event that came with rules in promoting it.

"They were told they had to remove any language of gay or lesbian over the loudspeaker," said Sala.

Emails obtained by Team 10 show sailors' frustrations by another condition: removing transgender from the posters.

Being transgender, according to the military, is a psychological disorder and grounds for discharge, though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently told ABC News that policy may be reviewed. 

LGBT advocates point out the Pentagon memo clearly states support of the LGBT community, which includes transgender civilian Department of Defense workers. Transgender advocates say the command staff's objections are disheartening.

"Transgender service members are people who just want to serve their country. What this commander had done is going to go down in the history books as a wrong-headed decision," said transgender activist and Navy veteran Autumn Sandeen.

Back on the USS Carl Vinson, nearly halfway through LGBT Pride Month, sources say the command staff has yet to officially sign off on the Pride event.

"The message that it sends is that we are still less in the eyes of certain commanders," said Sala.

The Navy released a statement saying they have not yet confirmed a complaint.

"It would be inappropriate to comment on the specific allegations," according to assistant public affairs officer Lt. Reagan Lauritzen.

She points out the USS Carl Vinson has been out at sea since May doing the final phase of training prior to the aircraft carrier's scheduled deployment later this year.

"We're not aware of any scheduled commemoration regarding LGBT Pride Month to be held aboard Carl Vinson," the statement read.

Team 10 has learned if the sailors are denied an event, they plan to unfurl a rainbow flag on the pier and have an impromptu event.

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