New Pentagon Policy Protects LGBTs as Vital to Military Excellence

New Pentagon Policy Protects LGBTs as Vital to Military Excellence

07:40 10.06.2015(updated 08:01 10.06.2015) Get short URL

The US Department of Defense has introduced a bold new policy to protect gays, lesbians, trans-genders and bisexuals (LGBT) from discrimination, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a Pentagon meeting that was globally broadcast.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Carter explained the new policy was also an essential strategic priority for the US military to ensure that they continue to attract the best talent available from all backgrounds.

“Discrimination of any kind has no place in America’s armed forces,” Carter said in his speech on Tuesday in celebration of the fourth LGBT Pride Day.

Carter noted the new policy ensures that the Defense Department “treats sexual-orientation-based discrimination the same way it treats discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, age and national origin.”

The Pride Day would be followed by a month of advertising LGBT contributions to the US armed force and defense community.

LGBT individuals will now be able to use the Defense Department Inspector General’s Office and the military equal opportunity process for all discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation, Carter said.

“With this policy revision, we are now ensuring that service members are afforded protection against discrimination in the department’s military equal opportunity program, provided to all military members,” Navy Lt. Commander Nate Christensen was quoted as saying in the Department of Defense News.

Inclusivity was essential in the 21st century, “anything less is bad defense policy,” Carter stated.

The diversity of the US armed forces, reflected in its many ethnic backgrounds as well its different sexual orientations, “is one of the things that has allowed us to be the best in the world,” he added.

Carter was introduced to the meeting by Brigadier General Randy Taylor. The openly gay general, speaking to US troops around the world, introduced his husband and partner of 18 years.

“My husband Lucas is sitting up front here,” Taylor said.

The event also showcased Amanda Simpson, Executive Director of the US Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives and the first openly transgender political appointee ever to head a US government agency.

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