Marine Corps Installations Pacific has pushed back at critics of its recent social media post recognizing Pride Month with the headline, “Pride In All Who Serve.”

“This #PrideMonth, we recognized the LBGTQ+ #Marines that raised their right hand and earned the title ‘Marine,’ ” the Okinawa-based command wrote Thursday on its official Facebook page. “The business of fighting and winning battles requires diverse and inclusive teams, and the #USMC takes #pride in building strength through #diversity.”

The command has oversight and control of Marine bases across the Indo-Pacific.

The post endorsing Pride Month didn’t go over well in some of the 63 comments and 108 emojis attached to it as of Friday afternoon in Japan.

“The USMC does not take pride in a sexual agenda that continues to be shoved down our throats,” Eduardo Flores wrote Friday morning. “Servicemembers do not wish to continue being associated with a sexual movement that has nothing to do with the military and what we do.”

The command posted a response to Flores starting with, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” before citing the Corps’ regulation addressing policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and other activities.

“All Marines and Sailors will treat one another with dignity, care, and concern,” the command wrote, quoting from the regulation.

Marine Corps Installations Pacific has pushed back at critics of a recent social media post recognizing Pride Month.

Marine Corps Installations Pacific has pushed back at critics of a recent social media post recognizing Pride Month. (U.S. Marine Corps)

It then cited the regulation on prohibited discrimination: “Any conduct whereby a Service member knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally and with a nexus to military service discriminates, including disparate treatment, of an individual or group on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, or sexual orientation that is not otherwise authorized by law or regulation and detracts from military readiness.”

Minutes later, the command wrote and pinned another comment that further addressed the criticism.

“We understand that this is an issue that many people feel strongly about, and we appreciate you sharing your perspective. However, supporting Pride aligns with the Marine Corps’ values of honor, courage, and commitment,” the command wrote. “It takes courage to stand up for what is right and to support all members of the military community.”

Flores did not immediately respond Friday to a Facebook message seeking comment.

His post drew a series of other responses, including one from Heather Raquel, who wrote: “(S)peak for yourself. Being supportive of all of the Marines to my left and right IS important…. So please don’t attempt to speak for us all.”

Another commenter said Flores is free to speak his opinion — a point agreed upon by a command spokeswoman.

“Marine Corps Installations Pacific acknowledges and supports everyone’s right to freedom of speech,” 2nd Lt. Kelsey Enlow told Stars and Stripes by email Friday. “MCIPAC finds strength in diversity and inclusivity.”

Other commenters took a neutral or positive view of Pride Month.

“I’m living for these comments,” Haili Shimko wrote. “Happy pride to all my brothers and sisters in arms!”

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Jonathan Snyder is a reporter at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Most of his career was spent as an aerial combat photojournalist with the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He is also a Syracuse Military Photojournalism Program and Eddie Adams Workshop alumnus.

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