OTTAWA — Gen. Jonathan Vance wants to send a message of solidarity — and spark a rush for the military’s recruiting centres— by becoming the first chief of defence staff to march in a pride parade this weekend.
Vance will lead a contingent that includes many of the military’s top leaders through the streets of Ottawa on Sunday during the city’s annual Capital Pride Parade.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Vance says he wants to show members of the LGBTQ community already serving in the uniform that he and the rest of the top brass support them.
But the defence chief is also hoping his participation will spur other members of the community to think about a possible career in the Armed Forces by demonstrating its openness to all.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also scheduled to march in the parade, Vance says his presence is not related to politics and intended only to strengthen the military.
Members of the LGBTQ community have been allowed to serve in uniform since a high-profile court case in 1992.
The Canadian Press