July 24, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
New group for LGBT service members forms
Allyson Robinson, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, OutServe, gay news, Washington Blade

A new group for LGBT service members has launched in the wake of the ongoing turmoil at OutServe-SLDN triggered by the ouster of its former director Allyson Robinson. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

WASHINGTON — A group of LGBT service members have launched a new organization in the wake of last month’s abrupt departure of OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.

Servicemembers, Partners and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPARTA) announced its formation on July 22, according to the New Civil Rights Movement. The blog said the group describes itself as “a group of LGBT people and allies who are currently serving or have served in the military and our families.”

SPARTA’s inception comes roughly a month after Robinson, who is transgender, stepped down amid reports the OutServe-SLDN board of directors ousted her.

OutServe-SLDN earlier this month announced it would close its D.C. offices amid further reports it is near bankruptcy.

The SPARTA announcement came three days after OutServe-SLDN chapter leaders announced they had severed ties with the latter organization. The New Civil Rights Movement reported OutServe-SLDN’s trans chapter has also joined SPARTA.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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