A new Pentagon policy aimed at protecting gay and lesbian troops from discrimination has been announced on Tuesday (June 9.) Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the policy that will ensure gay and lesbian servicemembers the same equal opportunity protections as other servicemebers.
Certainly seen as a victory in progress for openly gay and lesbian troops, the timely announcement was made at the Pentagon’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride event. The changes to the policy will make certain that the Military Equal Opportunity program investigates complaints about discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Just a few years after the Pentagon rescinded its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, this change further symbolizes the progression in acceptance made by the military. Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement via USA Today:
“With this policy revision, we are now ensuring that servicemembers are afforded protection against discrimination in the department’s military equal opportunity program, provided to all military members.”
Christensen also stated that a review of military health policies, including the transgender ban, is also underway and may take 12-18 months. Carter made his announcement in front of standing-room only crowd of troops from each branch of the military.