AVER Bataan Chapter
Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico
Throughout history gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. They took an oath to support and defend its Constitution against enemies, foreign or domestic. We believe it is the right of these Americans to express personal aspects of their lives, and in particular, aspects of their sexual orientation or gender identification. Furthermore, they should be allowed to do this in an environment free from harassment or discrimination in order to fulfill their potential to the fullest. Our members have worked as individuals or within cohesive units while serving our country in either war of peace. In doing so, we have accumulated distinguished records of military service that demonstrate our patriotism. We are active duty personnel, reservists, and veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. In pursuit of common goals we proudly join together as the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER).
We believe it is everyones right as a US citizen to serve in our military without discrimination, harrasment, or injury from another individual, group, organization, and politics.
ON THIS PAGE:
Annual End of Summer Bash
A Word From the Bataan President
Historical Stories of AVER Bataan
Invovement in LGBTQ Veterans Issues
Stories of the three Pride events we were involved in are on our "Of Interest" page. Please use the drop down menu at left top to navigate to that page.
Also, we are changing the format of this website over the next few months to reflect more of who we are and what we do.
End of Summer Bash
AVER Members and Supporters,
AVER’s End of summer Pool party & Bar-b-que is soon coming on Saturday, 13 August 2022, at 1230 hours. We thank you for your support during this year’s Pride events and this fun event is our thanks to you for helping out. This is your invitation to join us at our pool party and bar-b-que.
Most of our members have vaccinations. The party is of course out of doors, so masks will only be required of those who do not yet have their vaccinations. Temperatures will be checked on arrival. You are encouraged to attend and enjoy food, fellowship and a dip in the pool.
Thanks to Paul and Jerr for hosting this event at their beautiful home located off Washington between Lomas and Constitution at: Please call or email Steve Loomis below for address and to RSVP.
AVER will provide burgers, dogs, buns and condiments. Members may provide additional pot luck items, including: A-G – salad or veggies, H-N – sodas and chips, and O-Z - deserts.
RSVP Now for you and any guest to this email, or call me at 505-301-1737, so we have plenty of food. The weather is going to cooperate, so see you in the sun at the pools edge or in the shade. Save this date on your calendar as we look forward to seeing you there. Stay safe.
LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)
National President Emeritus
American Veterans for Equal Rights
Bataan Chapter President
We Stand on Their Shoulders
One of my duties as an AVER Board member is to project manage the AVER Anthology Project. I have taken the time to reflect upon all the things we as an organization have done for the rights of active duty servicemember, veterans and their families. As I review the Anthology, I read the names of AVER Members who have gone before me. Some of those members have passed away, some have moved on to fights nearer to their hearts, others think all the LGBTQ+ battles have been won. I am humbled to stand on their shoulders.
If we look at it at first glance possibly the battles have been won, all that is left is some mop up action and time for a well-earned rest.
I/We stand on their shoulders, those who:
• told their story time after time to put a face to our cause
• wrote letters
• showed up on TV and Radio
• where called names and threatened for standing up
• sat in US Senator and Representatives offices and were at times turned away
• did so much more
But no, the enemy has raised its ugly head of bigotry and hatred again. We all knew Roe v Wade was going to be overturned. The conservative Supreme Court Justices have indicated that earlier court decisions may be within being reversed such as:
• Marriage Equality
• Voting Rights Act
• LGBTQ+ Rights
• Transgender Service
• …. If it was a court decision, it can be overturned
We are the shoulders to stand on. We may be tired. We may think “Hell I thought we won this battle”! But it isn’t. We are responsible to go out and find replacement troops to stand on our shoulders.
Penn Baker Veteran USN
AVER Bataan Chapter President
AVER National Transgender Liaison
We must not stand by and watch another’s civil rights violated and do nothing,
lest we make it more likely our rights will be violated.
Historical Stories of AVER Bataan
Did you know that the year was 2006 when AVER Bataan first provided their color guard to lead the ABQ Pride Parade in Albuquerque? We have provided our color guard ever since with the exception of the years of the pandemic.
The chapter has had a great working relationship with ABQ Pride and we are grateful for it.
Over the years, we have staffed our booth at the festival while reaching out to LGBTQ+ Veterans and supporters. Interesting how we always seem to get the statement of "I didn't know you existed"! Well not only are we here, but we are here as a resource for our community.
In 2010, we had our first AVER Archives and ABQ Pride provided the jewelry cases for us. This is a chance to show the LGBTQ+ community who we are in items, photos, and documents that our members provide to be displayed.
With each year, we would add more cases and items until in 2013 when we had 10 cases full.
In 2012, we were the Grand Marshals of ABQ Pride plus provided the color guard for the parade and opening ceremonies.
The year was 2013 and the guys from OutServe who were on active duty at our local air base were the color guard and each one wore a color t-shirt of the rainbow.
LGBTQ+ Veterans Issues
With the ever changing social and political climate, the AVER Organization wants to make sure that we can do everything we can to ensure our freedoms. The freedom to vote. The freedom of Womens' Choice. The freedom of Marriage Equality. The freedom of the right for ANY U.S. Citizen to elist and serve in our armed forces.
Just understand we cannot endorse nor speak against any polical candidate. We DO however talk about the issues and do advocacy work in collaboration with other groups that have the same values as we do. From time to time, there will be articles, opinions and legal reporting that is of interest to the LGBTQ+ and Veterans in this country.
We also want to make sure that those of us who are on the front lines whether it is in a parade, demonstrating, or giving a voice for the rest of us to be able to do so and safely. Please be aware that things are changing with reguards to social mores and our community is becoming a target of hate groups or politicians that want to take our hard fought freedoms and rights away.