October 15, 2013 at 6:36 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Memorial service Thursday for gay Iraq war veteran
Darren Manzella, gay news, Washington Blade

Army Staff Sgt. Darren Manzella in 2008 (Blade file photo by Henry Linser)

A public memorial service for the soldier who fought “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by coming out as gay while serving in Iraq will take place in D.C. on Thursday.

The service to honor the life of Army Staff Sergeant Darren Manzella will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at St. Johns Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square. The address is 1525 H St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005.

In 2007, Manzella came out as gay on “60 Minutes” in protest of the military’s gay ban known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and was expelled under the policy in the next year. President Obama signed legislation in 2010 to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and lifted the policy in 2011.

At age 36, Manzella died in a traffic accident in Pittsford, N.Y. He’s survived by his spouse, Javier Lapeira, whom he married on July 5.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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