**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SPART*A Stands Up in Support of LGBT Service Members and Veterans**
New Member-Based Organization Announces Plans
(Washington, DC) This announces the formation of Service members, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPART*A), a group of LGBT people and allies who are currently serving or have served in the military, and our families. We are a membership organization, built by, for, and with members from all parts of our community.
We have members in military bases from all over the US, Afghanistan, Korea, Cuba, Guam, Europe, and expect to have more soon. Our members represent the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. We are all especially committed to our Trans members, formerly known as the OutServe Trans group, and to gaining full equality for them in the US Armed Forces.
Our mission is to support LGBT military members, LGBT veterans, and their families, while working to strengthen our military's culture of inclusion.
Our strategic priorities will be to:
Provide LGBT service members with opportunities for professional development, support, and networking, at the local, regional, and national level
Advocate for policies that grant full equality for transgender service members and ensure Equal Opportunity protections for all LGBT service members
Support creating a culture in DOD that is fully inclusive and respectful of all service members regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity
Provide a means to quickly connect any service member to legal support for situations they may face as a result of being LGBT in the military
Develop, train, and inspire our members to become leaders of character for the LGBT community and our nation
The governing Board of the new organization will include both LGBT veterans and actively-serving military members.
Our leaders include:
Carl Able, USMC
Karl Alvarez, Air Force veteran
Jase Daniels, US Navy
Tanya Domi, Army veteran
Tania Dunbar, US Army
Christopher Hooper, US Navy
Jeremy Johnson, Navy veteran
Mark Mazzone, US Army
Beth Schissel, Air Force veteran
Julianne Sohn, Marine Corps veteran
Brynn Tannehill, Navy veteran
We are working on a Development plan that is both realistic and aligned with our most urgent needs. We expect to grow into an organization that has paid staff to support our efforts, but we will always depend on the talents and hard work of our volunteer leaders in the governing structure for our membership.
We know the road ahead is tough, but we're in an age where the tools and resources are available to start anew and succeed as long as everyone is an equal partner and invested in the journey. We're confident that those who want to have a seat at the table in the fight to advance equality and fair treatment of ALL uniformed members will join us.
We look forward to standing up our new leadership, and working toward a military that respects all its members equally regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
People who would like to support SPARTA and its mission should go to spartapride.org.