[Rushtalk] Subversive AF official celebrates gay shame month

Carl Spitzer winblows at lavabit.com
Sat Jul 6 21:05:11 MDT 2013

Acting AF Secretary Hails Gay Pride Month

Jun 25, 2013

Military.com| by Richard Sisk

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America works when Americans Work.
Wetbacks and H1B go home.

The acceptance of gays and lesbians serving openly in the ranks has
reached the point where acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning, the
highest-ranking gay official in the Defense Department, can joke about
the concerns of some about what color he'll paint the planes.

"The truth is, of course, I'll focus on my job," said Fanning, who took
the post last week with the retirement of Michael Donnelly.

Fanning on Tuesday joined with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel – who
initially opposed the ban on gays serving openly – and White House
senior advisor Valerie Jarrett at a Pentagon ceremony marking Gay Pride
Month and honoring the military service of gays and lesbians.

Fanning noted that gay pride ceremonies were also being held at Kandahar
and Bagram air bases in Afghanistan.  "The military is no longer an
institution that discriminated against people just like me. We are
stronger as an institution," he said.

"It hasn't been easy, it's often been painful," Fanning said, but "today
the Secretary of Defense is kicking off our pride celebration." Last
June, the Pentagon's acknowledgment of Gay Pride Month was more subdued,
with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issuing a statement.

In brief remarks, Hagel said the event marking Lesbian Gay Bisexual
Transgender Pride Month was an opportunity for gay servicemembers to
"take pride in themselves and their many achievements."

The event was organized by "DoD Pride," representing LGBT
servicemembers, civilians, contractors and families in the Defense

Gays serving openly "makes our military and our nation stronger, much
stronger," Hagel said. The nation was also made stronger by "our ability
to correct our course," Hagel said, apparently alluding to his previous
opposition to ending DADT.

During his stormy Senate nomination hearings earlier this year, Hagel
was the target of criticism from several gay groups before reversing
course and stating that he was now "fully supportive of open service" by
gays and "committed to LGBT military families."

In her remarks, Jarrett gave a "special shout out" to Army Brig. Gen.
Tammy Smith, now the highest ranking openly-gay officer in the Army
military, who was seated in the front row with her wife, Tracey Hepner.

Smith had been the highest-ranking openly gay officer in the military
until the promotion this earlier this month to two-star rank of Air
Force Maj. Gen. Patricia Rose, who is married to retired Navy Lt. Julie

Hepner and Smith "can breathe a little easier" since the repeal of DADT,
Jarrett said, calling the end of DADT "one of the most significant civil
rights achievements of the President's career."

After the ceremony, Smith said that Fanning's quip about painting the
planes "totally shows how far we've come" in the long journey to gaining
acceptance in the military. Many times in her 27 years of service "I
couldn't have fathomed this day coming about" with a Defense Secretary
leading a gay pride event, she said.

In a statement hailing the Pentagon's endorsement of Gay Pride Month,
Allyson Robinson, an Army veteran and executive director of the
OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network gay rights group, said
that "Acknowledging the accomplishments and contributions of lesbian,
gay, and bisexual service members sends an important message all the way
down the chain of command."

Prior to becoming acting Air Force Secretary, Fanning was the under
secretary of the Air Force and previously served as deputy under
secretary of the Navy for management.

Fanning, a Dartmouth College graduate, also served from 2008 to 2009 as
deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass
Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, and was also formerly a staffer
on the House Armed Services Committee.

The 44-year-old Fanning has been picking up support in his home state of
Ohio for his appointment as acting Air Force secretary to become

"His experience on Capitol Hill will help him lead the Air Force through
unprecedented budget challenges," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said of
Fanning in a statement.

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