ALERT: SEXUAL ORIENTATION NOT PROTECTED IN NEW MILITARY EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY

Joining the army is a good career opportunity in terms of money, but fighting in a war is not safe. The question is “Is the risk worth it?” Luckily enough the internet has given the world the chance to make money even while at home – some start their personal blogs while others trade with binary option robot.

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED

Marine Corps First Lieutenant Jacob Bridge has notified Project Red Hand that the Department of Defense (DoD) is in the process of updating it’s Military Equal Opportunity policy, and it will notinclude sexual orientation as a protected category. For civilians, think of every job application that you come across. It should say that the company you are applying for is an Equal Opportunity employer, and that they will not discriminate against things like gender, race, or sexual orientation. This will not be the case for the military, continuing to marginalize an already discriminated against group of people.

Jacob explains:

“ One of the main source documents for the current DoD Military Equal Opportunity policy (last updated 11 years ago in 2003) is the Human Goals Charter. In April of this year, the Charter was updated to include sexual orientation and in no unclear terms states the following,

‘…[W]e strive to make military service in the Department of Defense a model of equal opportunity for all regardless of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.’
Signatures on the new charter include the heads of all branches of the military, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Because its source document has been updated, it stands to reason that the new DoD MEO policy would be updated likewise. This is not the case, and the DoD is citing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as their reasoning. In 1964, this Act laid the groundwork for the definition of EO in the Federal Government and listed the protected categories as “race, color, sex, religion, or national origin”. There is no sexual orientation included in this 50 year old definition. In 1998 Bill Clinton signedExecutive Order 13087 that included “sexual orientation” in the definition for EO protections offered civilian employees of the Federal Government. At that point Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had been in place for five years, so Executive Order 13087 did not extend that same protection to service members. Nowhere in the current DoD MEO policy is Title VII mentioned, and it seems strange that they would start citing it now as the source document.

Obama signs Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010
DADT has been repealed for over three years now, but the equal opportunity definitions for military members remain the same. This is in spite of the fact that one of the source documents for the current DoD MEO policy was updated with clear language including sexual orientation as a protected category. The DoD MEO policy is currently being rewritten, but because of the language in the Civil Rights Act they will once again be excluding sexual orientation as a protected category. The last time this policy was updated was 11 years ago, so if the new one is signed as it currently stands these service members may not be afforded EO protection for another decade. Civilian employees of the government have been afforded sexual orientation protection under equal opportunity for 16 years now; with DADT in its fourth year of repeal, the military deserves the same.”

I asked Jacob what that would mean for those serving in the military who feel that they have been discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. How does the process change for them?

“Because sexual orientation is being excluded from the new MEO policy, gay service members will not be able to receive assistance from their unit Equal Opportunity representative when they are discriminated against. They must instead report the discrimination to the nearest Inspector General’s office. Though gay service members are still offered assistance for discrimination, the IG process is much less personal and can take longer to address the violation. The unit EO representative is someone most people in the unit can recognize by face or name, but the IG is much further removed.

The offering of separate services is eerily similar to the practices under Jim Crow Laws during the first half of the 20th century. Black people were provided access to schools, water fountains, and seats on buses; just not the ones white people used. The government is saying is that the government can’t include sexual orientation in the new MEO policy because the government hasn’t updated its own definition of Equal Opportunity for the military yet. This makes no sense.”

Indeed. This is not a drill everyone. According to Jacob, this update is attempting to be shuffled through by December. He states that paperwork in the military moves slow, but we need all hands on deck making noise about this. Jacob has already notified AMPA, the American Military Partner’s Association which released this press release to their members.

Jacob and I will be running the Twitter account @MEO4ALL and using the hashtag #DADTIsBack. The account will be updated regularly as we reach out to as many allied organizations and people to get the word out. We urge you to do the same. Building awareness amongst the public, veterans, and those in active duty is vital to let the Department of Defense know that in 2014 this is not going unnoticed and will not be tolerated.

You can also reach out to us about this campaign at meo4all(@)mail(.)com.

Tombstone of Leonard Matlovich
Stay tuned and remain active.

Written by Michelle Segal , Kraken