( Washington, DC ) - Statement by Matt Thorn, Interim Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN on Governor Mike Huckabee's statement on Secretary of Army nominee Eric Fanning.
"On Saturday, September 19th, Governor Huckabee chose to malign the nomination of Eric Fanning to be the next Secretary of the Army. It is disgraceful and hypocritical of Mr. Huckabee to engage in this behavior when just a few weeks ago he was rallying for Kim Davis on his perception of the reverse.
It is unbecoming of a presidential candidate to attack someone on a personal basis like this. I do agree with Mr. Huckabee that sexual orientation isn't a job qualification and Eric is not being nominated because he is gay, he is being nominated for his extensive 25+ year career within the Department of Defense and the knowledge that he possess about military policy.
Eric's sexual orientation has absolutely no foundation in his ability to do this job. He is fundamentally respected by both uniformed and civilian Department of Defense personnel and will undoubtedly serve this post with honor and respect, as he has done in all of his previous positions.
This nomination is not about pandering, it is about appointing an individual who will best serve the most technologically developed Army the world has ever known. Our lack of military readiness and veterans suicides, that Mr. Huckabee claims are not being honored in this appointment, are not policies of Eric's or the Obama Administration they were left over from eight years of President George W. Bush's presidency. We, as an electorate, have yet to hear any plans or policies from any of the Republican presidential candidates to address the concerns highlighted by Mr. Huckabee.
If Mr. Huckabee cares so deeply about the issues that he claims then he would applaud Eric's appointment and his history of serving the United States armed services in each of his positions and not tear him down because he doesn't agree with his sexual orientation.
OutServe-SLDN asks that all candidates running for the office of President of the United States denounce this vicious and unjust attack.
Finally, I ask that Mr. Huckabee apologize to Mr. Fanning and stop using the LGBT community for his 30 second campaign sound bites. In the race to the bottom, that is the Republican primary, this is a new and disgusting low. It doesn't make Mr. Huckabee presidential, it makes him desperate."
OutServe-SLDN ( OS-SLDN ) is the largest non-profit, legal services, advocacy and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. With more than fifty chapters and 60,000 subscribers around the world, OS-SLDN supports a professional network of LGBT military personnel and strives to create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org .