As usual, Marine Corps recruiters asked passersby to attempt 20 pull-ups from a bar. But this time they were asking gays and lesbians at a gay pride event yesterday in Pasadena, Calif.—possibly the first Southern California pride event to host military recruiters, the Los Angeles Times reports. The eight Marines at the recruitment table made for the event's biggest draw, attracting more people than church groups, healthcare organizations, and nearby tables of colorful garden decorations.
Event organizers said they were intrigued that among US forces, only the Marines accepted an invitation to the San Gabriel Valley Pride event—especially after Marine Corps Gen. James Amos had adamantly opposed last month's repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The Marines even claimed poverty and had their $150 table fee paid for them. "They had tens of thousands of felony waivers, and they were taking people convicted of drug use," said a passerby who had left the military because of its gay ban. "This will increase the pool of people available and allow people who want to serve the country to join."