Sexual orientation will be added to equal opportunity policy, Secretary of Defense says

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter briefs troops and members of the press at National Security Agency headquarters on Fort Meade, Md., March 13, 2015. Carter visited the facility to speak to troops and evaluate the current state of cyber security.

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Tuesday morning that there would be some big changes to the Military Equal Opportunity policy to reflect gay and lesbian servicemen and women.

The Department of Defense has updated the Military Equal Opportunity policy, so sexual orientation will for the first time be included and will ensure everyone — no matter the race, religion, color, sex, age and national origin — be treated equally to maintain a more inclusive environment.

“The Department of Defense has made a lasting commitment to living the values we defend — to treating everyone equally — because we need to be a meritocracy,” Carter said during the LGBT Pride Month Ceremony at the Pentagon auditorium. “We need to focus relentlessly on our mission, which means the thing that matters most about a person is what they can contribute to national defense. This is a commitment we must continually renew.”

The new face of the military should be one that reflects the “rich diversity” of America because there is no place for discrimination in America’s armed forces, said Secretary of Defense. He said embracing inclusion is key to recruiting and retaining those in the arms forces, especially with young Americans who “are more diverse, open, and tolerant than past generations.”

“Recognizing that our openness to diversity is one of the things that have allowed us to be the best in the world, we must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so,” Carter said.

While Carter acknowledged the inclusivity of the military, he also said the DOD would provide benefits as well as recognize those who are same-sex spouses of military members.

This September will mark the four-year anniversary of the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibited qualified gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the armed forces.


Report a typo

Trademark and Copyright 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


More Local

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC Bureau

In Your Corner

More In Your Corner

Don't Miss

Latest News

More News


KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter