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OutServe-SLDN Statement on Hagel Nomination

For immediate release:
Monday, January 7, 2013

Contact: Zeke Stokes at
202-621-5406 or zeke@outserve-sldn.org

Robinson on Hagel Nomination: Past Time to Address LGBT Inequities, Next Secretary of Defense Must Commit to Action

(WASHINGTON, DC) Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson issued the following statement today on the nomination by President Obama of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to replace Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon:

“Senator Hagel is an exceptionally qualified nominee for Secretary of Defense and we believe, if confirmed, he will be an effective leader for the Pentagon. Significant challenges remain for LGBT service members and their families, however, and it’s long overdue that our Secretary address those challenges.

Our message to the next Secretary of Defense would be the same, no matter who was nominated and confirmed. A commitment to support LGBT service members and their families must be a commitment to action. It’s past time to extend all benefits available to married same-sex military couples and families while the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still on the books. It’s past time to put in place military equal opportunity and nondiscrimination protections so that all qualified Americans who wish to serve this nation in uniform may do so without fear of harassment or discrimination. We look forward in the weeks ahead to discussing these and other issues important to LGBT service members and their families with Senator Hagel and his designees, and to working with him should he be confirmed to create equitable conditions for all those who serve our nation so bravely in uniform.”

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ABOUT OUTSERVE-SLDN: OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6000 members around the world It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.

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