Friday, February 1, 2013

Chuck Hagel Gay Military Ally

On Capitol Hill before the Senate Armed Services Committee Chuck Hagel continued to be consistent with his recent public statements that he will to do everything possible under current law to provide gay & lesbian service members & their families with equal benefits & support. Hagel said he would move quickly upon confirmation to create greater equity for gay & lesbian service members & their families should he become Secretary of Defense. Allyson Robinson Army Veteran & OutServe-SLDN Executive Director stated, “After two years of equivocation & delay by Pentagon leadership, it is gratifying to see Senator Hagel show the kind of clear, unambiguous support for our service members & their families as we saw today. It is an historic day when issues critical to gay & lesbian service members & their families take center stage in a confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense.” Last October with no public explanation, the service chiefs shelved a plan to extend benefits not tied to the federal definition of marriage to gay & lesbian service members. In recent weeks, Robinson called on current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to use his authority in the final days of his tenure to extend available benefits to all military families. OutServe-SLDN has identified a number of benefits that could be offered immediately without violating the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
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