Eric Fanning was finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate yesterday as the first openly gay Secretary of the Army. Fanning had served as Acting Secretary while his confirmation was being help up by the GOP. Republican Senator Pat Roberts had placed a hold on his nomination, a move he says had NOTHING to do with Fanning’s qualifications. He reportedly was asking for assurances that the Obama administration would not move any detainees from Guantánamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas but the White House refused to make that assurance.
The U.S. Senate unanimously backed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Eric Fanning as secretary of the Army on Tuesday, making him the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service branch. He was confirmed unanimously eight months after his nomination.
American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack said,
“His leadership and experience within the defense community together with his sensitivity towards issues specifically facing our LGBT service members and their families make him the ideal candidate to lead our nation’s Army. It has been a long, arduous road to his confirmation, and we look forward to working with him directly in the near future.”
OutServe-SLDN congratulated Fanning on finally being confirmed. Executive Director Matt Thorn issued a statement:
“Eight months ago our Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama nominated a man who has a resume that is accomplished even by Washington standards to be Secretary of the Army and we can finally and long overdue say congratulations to Eric Fanning on being confirmed as the 22nd Secretary of the Army.
Eric Fanning’s career is full of superlatives. Just reading Eric’s resume one could only agree that he is more than qualified to be Secretary of the Army. In addition to his stellar qualifications, Eric will now become the first openly gay Army Secretary.
Eric’s sexual orientation has absolutely no bearing on his ability to do this job; nor was it the reason for his nomination. But this milestone of having an openly gay individual in this high level position within the Department of Defense will help to continue to set a tone of understanding and respect for the LGBT community throughout the armed services.“