FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 9, 2016
Friday, Dec. 9 (Washington, D.C.)—Today, Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, highlighted the importance of having a military that reflects the diverse tapestry of America.
After a brief introduction by Congressmen Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Secretary Fanning discussed the extraordinary strides towards equality the Obama administration has made for our service men and women over the last 8 years. Secretary Fanning became the highest-ranking LGBTQ Pentagon official in history, following his appointment by President Obama.
“The more we can do to put more diverse voices at the table the faster change can happen, ” Fanning said.
President Obama signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act and became a champion for LGBTQ rights within military branches. Led by Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, the ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the military was also lifted.
“When you look at the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ability of women to serve at all levels and in all places, and the religious accommodations we have made—the military has dropped the arbitrary qualifiers and defined what it takes to do a job.” Fanning continued saying “if you can do your job, and do it well, that’s what matters.”
Secretary Fanning’s remarks were part of the larger three-day Victory Institute International LGBTQ Leaders Conference – which will bring together more than 500 LGBTQ elected officials, appointees and leaders determined to continue progress on LGBTQ equality.
The International LGBTQ Leaders Conference takes place in Washington, DC through Saturday, Dec. 10. For a complete agenda and speakers, visit www.lgbtleaders.org.
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Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute works to increase the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success.