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Sexual orientation soon to become protected class in US military

Pentagon is updating its Military Equal Opportunity policy to cover gays, lesbians and bisexuals

Sexual orientation soon to become protected class in US military
A US soldier embraces his partner

The Pentagon is preparing to update its Military Equal Opportunity policy to include sexual orientation as a protected class.

The change could be made final as soon as the end of next month which is nearly four years after the official end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military families called the plan a ‘critical change’ and ‘long overdue.’

‘This is incredibly important and welcome news for our service members and their families,’ says AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack.

A proposed change has already been agreed to by each branch of the military and will be delivered to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter for his review and final approval next week, according to Washington Blade.

The Military Equal Opportunity policy currently includes race, color, religion, age, physical or mental disability, sex and national origin.

While AMPA is pleased with this development, the organization also wants to have transgender people be able to serve openly and be protected against discrimination so they can reach the highest ranks.

‘We again urge Secretary Carter to also order a full and comprehensive review to update the outdated regulations that prevent transgender service members from serving openly and honestly,’ Broadway-Mack said.

‘It’s just as important to our LGBT military families that these same protections be extended based on gender identity.’

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