Lady Gaga with her military escort. (Pic: Terry Richardson)
Superstar Lady Gaga has used Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards as a platform to promote equality for gay and lesbian soldiers in the US.
Gaga, who received a record 13 nominations, appeared on the event’s red carpet flanked by four openly gay former members of the military.
The four escorts – David Hall, Katie Miller, Stacy Vasquez and Mike Almy – have all been affected by the US Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) ban on gay and lesbian service members – either having resigned or having been discharged because of their sexuality.
“We talked to [Gaga] for a bit and she said, ‘It would be great if I could bring you to the VMAs,'” Hall, a former member of the Air Force who was thrown out in 2002, told MTV News.
Gaga expressed her admiration for the four, who were seated behind her in the Nokia Theatre , by tweeting: ”Silks, fabrics, shoes + jewels, fashion dreams + breaking rules. Real heroes on my arm, tonight, is for us monsters, and our fight. X.”
While accepting the Best Female Video award fo rBad Romance she further acknowledged the “discharged soldiers” and thanked “all the gays for remaking this video over and over again.”
“Lady Gaga’s recognition of these fine patriots casts a spotlight on the unjust burden that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ imposes upon the brave men and women who defend our country every day…” said Aubrey Sarvis, from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).
The star’s website also directed visitors to the SLDN website for more information about the organisation and its work in repealing DADT.
Gaga, who appeared on stage in a meat dress alongside gay icon Cher, went on to win eight awards at the event.
Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show immediately after the Awards, Gaga said that she was compelled to bring attention to DADT: “It is a law that violates so much of what we stand [for] as a generation, as free people, as America.”