Gathered in a corner of the second floor of Tuesday was a small group of activists, local residents and former military personnel celebrating the end of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."
The event was one of many sponsored by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network across the country to celebrate the official end of the policy that forced gay members of the military to hide their sexuality while in the service.
Among those who attended were Donna McMillan and her partner of 31 years, Kerri.
McMillan served in the Navy for four years in the late 1970s, and her partner served in the Navy for five years of active service and 25 years in the reserves.
“After 30 years, I’m still uncomfortable,” said Kerri, who declined to give her last name because she still participates in military events and worries that the new policy won’t be immediately accepted.
“All of a sudden, just because a law went down you want me to share? How do I do that? How do I trust?” asked Kerri, who said that throughout her career in the Navy she feared her colleagues would discover she was a lesbian.
When reminded that it’s now the law for her fellow members of the military to respect her sexuality, she said, “Isn’t that amazing.”
And McMillan added, “We’ve seen so much change in our lifetime.”