Europe

Dutch Military Joins Gay Pride Parade for 1st Time

AMSTERDAM-- Embracing a policy of "Do Tell," the Dutch military is joining Amsterdam's annual Gay Pride parade for the first time this year, with uniformed men and women saluting the crowds from a boat chugging through the city's canals.

Unlike the United States military, gays have openly served in Dutch units since 1974, and have had a department within the Defense Ministry minding their interests for 25 years.

Former U.S. Army Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged in 2010 after violating the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, is a guest on the float.

Some 80 boats are taking part in Saturday's parade, with hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the historic Prinsengracht canal.

It caps a weeklong festival of some 300 events, including "Gay Olympics."