21 pride parade travis 1

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance march through Travis Air Force Base, Friday. The mile-long walk drew about 100 people and is the first of its kind on a military base in the United States. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


LGBT walk at Travis called 1st such event in US

By From page A3 | June 21, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Members and supporters of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance at Travis Air Force Base walked a mile Friday in what’s said to be the first such event at a military site in the United States.

The walk followed talks by speakers that included the Rev. Micah Murdock, chaplain with the Yolo Hospice.

“It’s unbelievable,” Murdock said of the event. “It’s like surreal it’s so good.”

He thanked President Barack Obama and called him “our wonderful president” who helped make the day possible.

The Rev. David Deerfeeder, an associate of the society of St. Francis, played a flute as part of a “call of the winds” Native American blessing.

Deerfeeder said, “God is an all-inclusive, accepting God,” and spoke about “a new spirit moving through this entire nation.”

Debra Liles, a retired chief master sergeant in the U.S. Air Forces and keynote speaker Friday, said “this is what we call diversity.”

“Everybody should be treated equally,” Liles said. “You should not be treated differently no matter who you love.”

“Today we, you and I, have made history,” she added of the 100 people Liles said were at the event.

Liles said at the start of her talk that she never imagined the Air Force would progress as much as it has, but continued that, “We are nowhere near close to total acceptance.”

She spoke of how, ironically, she joined the Air Force to get away from her boyfriend. They just couldn’t get along, Liles said.

Now, she said, “No one has to serve in silence or secrecy.”

The LGBT Alliance, a private organization established in February, led the walk with a banner that read “come as you are.” Participants carried rainbow flags to the Delta Breeze Club, an officers’ and airmen’s club at Travis.

Brigette Hunley, chairwoman of the Solano County Democratic Committee, called the event groundbreaking.

“This is the first of its kind anywhere in the country,” she said. “It’s amazing.”

Monica Brown, vice chairwoman of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee, said she was proud to participate.

“It shows that Fairfield is becoming progressive,” she said. “We are looking at diversity and equality for all.”

Bryan Fischer, issue analysis director for the American Family Association, a nonprofit that describes itself as on the frontlines of America’s culture war, said in a phone interview that a pride event such as the Friday walk is a misnomer.

“There is nothing about homosexuality to be proud of,” Fischer said.

Homosexual behavior is as risky as intravenous drug use and neither choice should be celebrated, he said.

“I’m not surprised because of the aggressive and bullying nature of the homosexual lobby,” Fischer said of Travis being the site of the event. “The ultimate source of this bullying is coming from the commander in chief.”

“He’s driven by a radical ideology which leads him to assault virtually every value” that has made the United States great, the American Family representative said.

Fischer said strident opposition by homosexuals keeps most of the public quiet about what they think.

“People are afraid to speak honestly about what they see,” he said. “People just don’t want to get in the crosshairs.”

Capt. Robert MacArthur, a 60th Dental Squadron resident at the base and president of the LGBT Alliance at Travis, said at the start of the event that the day was about “a sense of pride.”

“A pride in just being who we are,” he said. 

“We are and will only be fully successful with diverse support from out straight allies,” he said.

He said during the walk the LGBT Alliance is trying to educate the public.

“We can’t do that without media support,” he said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 21 comments

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  • bobby peelJune 21, 2014 - 12:05 am


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  • The SugarJarJune 21, 2014 - 12:24 am

    I support our vets. The straight ones, the LGBTQ folks, all. They are serving and deserve support for that. Additionally all humans, even non-vets, deserve the same rights. There is nothing gross about simply being alive. Not anything wrong with being proud (as in not ashamed) to be alive.

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  • MEJune 21, 2014 - 12:37 am

    Why do this on a military base? The military allows homosexuals to join so why the walk? Educate the public? The public should know that our military is keeping us safe.

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  • rlw895June 21, 2014 - 5:45 am

    This Bryan Fischer guy says “People are afraid to speak honestly about what they see. People just don’t want to get in the crosshairs.” He must not see the irony. Just one example of his clouded vision, I'm sure.

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  • archieJune 21, 2014 - 6:26 am

    Perversions of nature and humanity. These deviant freaks have gone too far. Nobody really cares that you are gay,,,,,,,,,, we are just tired of you and your endless equal rights "we are victims" crap. Just go about living your life as you choose and we will do the same!

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  • JimboJune 21, 2014 - 12:03 pm

    Speaking of 'we are victims' crap....your post screams that very thing about yourself. The people in this article are total strangers to you that you want to tell how to live. Get over yourself and welcome to the 21st century.

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  • archie the magnificentJune 21, 2014 - 10:17 pm

    whatever jimbo

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  • JimboJune 21, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    Gay pride is not truly a way where people just go, "HEY LOOK AT ME I'M GAY! YAY!" No, it's a way to show that the gayl community is fighting for equality and therefore must make themselves noticed (thus why there are gay parades and marches). Until gay people get the legal equality they deserve (I say "legal" because they probably won't be treated equally in certain situations that are legal, just like other minorities) then gay pride will continue so the homosexual community can be recognized and not ignored. It helps people realize that "Hey, they're still doing that parade thing, aren't they? I guess they still need to be recognized and have their equal rights." Yet once they are legally said to be equal and have the same respects of the law as everyone else does, then I can almost guarantee that after their is a huge celebration to celebrate the day when gay people got their equality, gay pride and parades will diminish greatly, and that only once every year will you see a big parade to celebrate that day the gay community got their equality.

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  • The SugarJarJune 21, 2014 - 7:58 am

    Very tiring that others want the same rights as I have.

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  • JimboJune 21, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    The true irony here is that Bryan Fischer is the one who acts like a bully. Then acts like a toddler in a temper tantrum when he does not get his way.

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  • 2realJune 21, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    Disgusting! Make history in hell.

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  • The SugarJarJune 21, 2014 - 4:24 pm

    Respect for our troops. Walking is neither gross nor disgusting. The imagination certainly might be. I'd suggest trying to think of something other than others having intimate relations. If that isn't possible, there might be another problem ...

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  • MEJune 21, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    honestly if you are a supporter or not a supporter what does that have to do with a walk on the military base? gays are already allowed to serve in the military what's the walk for?

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  • The SugarJarJune 21, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    I'd guess it has something to do with being visible rather than invisible. I can mention at work that my husband loves pizza. Or has a cold. Why not my coworker feel just as comfortable saying yes so does her wife? (Or girlfriend.) just basic stuff we can so easily take for granted.

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  • MEJune 21, 2014 - 5:44 pm

    No disrespect sugar jar but gay people can tell coworkers in the military that their partner loves pizza too. Nobody is saying that they cant. They are not invisible in the military Obama helped gays to be able to join and this is gained national attention. like I said before why the walk? this is taken away from our military obligations. people are focusing on this walk rather than what needs to be done in the military. they already have the right to join this makes no sense.

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  • The SugarJarJune 21, 2014 - 5:53 pm

    There are a number of LGBTQ activists you could follow on Facebook or Twitter, or read their blogs. Perhaps that might be a way to see why the walk from other perspectives. My guess is there are quite a few that would see the point of the walk and some who might not agree. To me its visibility. I exist. I'm not hiding or pretending anymore. That's what I see.

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  • rlw895June 21, 2014 - 8:54 pm

    The history is a LGBT group ask to have such an event on base and they got approval. The history has to do with the change in military leadership and attitudes, not the participants.

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  • MEJune 21, 2014 - 10:48 pm

    Rlw895 so this event is to celebrate military change?

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  • rlw895June 22, 2014 - 2:37 am

    M: I will leave it for one of the organizers to explain the purpose. I wasn't one of them. But that's worth celebrating.

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  • LOVEisLOVEJune 22, 2014 - 1:34 am

    It was an honor be apart of this amazing moment. It's always so nice to be surrounded by those in support and those who understand. No matter where I go, there is always a LGBT community with open arms. I have zero interest in what the anti folks want to say about us anymore because it's always the same thing. I love my fellow LGBT.. Stay strong and love on!!

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  • dignityandrespectJune 22, 2014 - 11:23 am

    The PRIDE walk happened for awareness that the LGBT community will not live double lives and to not be stuck in the shadows and to be included in the workplace; equality. The PRIDE walk was very professionally done and had nothing of the normal stereotypes that we see at a parade. We had mothers and fathers and kids of All types walking in a dignified manner, not once was there someone dressed in something considered inappropriate. This is a big deal, the LGBT community and supporters are saying we exist in many facets and that respect and dignity is given to all despite one's differences. The purpose is to not live in silence and to not get treated differently. It has to start that we exist, soon there won't be a need for any of this for Inclusivity happens. When people don't understand what inclusivity means, then education and awareness needs to happen. This is why this historical event happened in the first place. Others don't know that problems still exist, one must fully educate oneself on both sides of the argument to know that living in peace alongside your fellow man is about learning from one another.

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