GetEQUAL, the LGBT civil rights organization, has responded to Chuck Hagel‘s comments yesterday, and is challenging the former Nebraska Republican Senator to get specific. Hagel, whom President Obama nominated to become America’s next Defense Secretary, has yet to receive the full support of the LGBT community after his anti-gay comments were revealed. Hagel has since apologized and yesterday went one step further, committing to providing benefits to families of all service members, including those who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual.
But GetEQUAL, who has publicly opposed the Hagel nomination, last week calling his voting record “worrisome” and not “in line with the Obama Administration’s stated core values,” is still not satisfied.
“While we appreciate Chuck Hagel’s efforts to assuage doubts about his understanding of and commitment to issues of equality in the military and at the Pentagon, we urge him to be much more specific in his comments,” Heather Cronk, Managing Director of GetEQUAL told The New Civil Rights Movement in an exclusive email. “We encourage Hagel to let the American public know whether he will commit to do simple things to make life easier for same-sex military families like issue ID cards to spouses, facilitate joint duty assignments, and provide military family housing. We also urge him to let the American public — and American service members — know whether he will roll up his sleeves to ‘clean up’ military policies for LGBT Americans by creating and instituting a much-needed non-discrimination policy and ensuring that transgender Americans can openly and safely serve their country.”
Even though President Obama repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, there are no anti-discrimination protections for LGBT service members, and transgender service members still cannot serve openly.
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