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Gay Military & Defense Secretary

By Charlotte Robinson, January 06, 2013
In the upcoming week we should have a few nominations from the Obama administration including former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to replace Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. Allyson Robinson, army veteran & OutServe-SLDN Executive Director issued this statement, “Senator Hagel clearly has the military credentials & experience to do the job of running our nation’s Defense Department. At OutServe-SLDN, we have no doubt about that & we appreciate his apology for the anti-gay remarks he made in 1998 & the commitment he expressed to LGBT service members & their families. It will now be incumbent upon him during the nomination & confirmation process to lay out demonstrable actions he will take to support that commitment. Senator Hagel has said he is ‘committed to LGBT military families,’ so if nominated & confirmed, he should immediately extend, via secretarial directive, all benefits available to married same-gender military couples & families while the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still on the books. He said he is ‘fully supportive of open service,’ so he should extend military equal opportunity & nondiscrimination policies so that all qualified Americans who wish to serve this nation in uniform may do so without fear of harassment or discrimination. Steps such as these would do a great deal to allay the concerns many in our community have expressed over the last several weeks. I look forward in the weeks ahead to discussing these and other issues important to LGBT service members and their families with Senator Hagel & his designees.” Updates to Come…:)

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