First Openly-Gay Nominee's Confirmation May Still Be Sidelined By Anti-Gay GOP Senator
Eric Fanning, one of the most-qualified civilians ever to be nominated to be Secretary of the Army, will have his first committee hearing next week. He was forced to step aside as Acting Army Secretary after GOP Sen. John McCain refused to confirm him, claiming he was in violation of federal law for being in the role while awaiting confirmation.
On Thursday the Senate Armed Services Committee will take up Fanning's nomination, the first step in the confirmation process, The Huffington Post reports. If the Committee votes to move him forward, the full Senate will have to vote on his nomination. If confirmed, Fanning would be the nation's first openly-gay Army Secretary.
It's at that point where Fanning will still have to overcome a major roadblock, in the form of anti-gay Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who last year placed a hold on Fanning's nomination, under the ruse of using it as a bargaining chip to ensure President Barack Obama does not close Guantanamo. There's no sign that Roberts has removed that hold.
Roberts, as NCRM previously reported, Roberts, a "Hard-Core Conservative," has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He has voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as well as other obstacles to marriage for same-sex couples, voted against adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes law, voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. And Roberts has been endorsed by a cavalcade of anti-gay Republicans of note, including Huckabee, Tim Huelskamp, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz.
Image of Eric Fanning by Ash Carter via Flickr
DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo