More than two decades of experience working on military policy, serving as chief of staff under Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the Pentagon and serving as the undersecretary for the Air Force are apparently not sufficient enough accomplishments to prevent Republican presidential candidates from demeaning your promotion to Secretary of the Army if you are gay.
On Friday, President Obama announced the historic appointment of Eric Fanning to become the first openly gay civilian secretary of any branch of the military. Fanning was described by Defense Secretary Ash Carter as “one of our country’s most knowledgeable, dedicated, and experienced public servants,” but that did not stop former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee from denouncing Fanning's appointment as pandering to "America's homosexuals."
"Homosexuality is not a job qualification," the right-wing candidate wrote on Facebook following Fanning's appointment, denouncing "social experiments" in the military. As the Washington Post notes, the Obama administration has six openly gay ambassadors; a gay man serving as the first special envoy to promote global LGBT rights; five transgender men and women who have served in federal agencies, and a full-time transgender staffer in the White House.
Below is Gov. Huckabee's statement in response to President Obama's decision to nominate Eric Fanning as Secretary of...
According to CNN, Fanning's nomination was also questioned by Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, who told evangelical Iowans at this weekend's Faith and Freedom forum that he worried Fanning's nomination was meant to serve as a "political statement" from the President.
"I certainly hope that the secretary of the Army is being nominated because the President wants the right person to defend our nation and not because he is looking to make a political statement on issues of sexual orientation unrelated to defending this nation and keeping us safe," Cruz said. "But as I said, I will wait until his confirmation hearing to assess his record on the merits."
Fanning's nomination now awaits confirmation by Cruz and his Senate colleagues.