HRC Blog

Openly Gay Man Takes Over as Acting Civilian Leader of Air Force

On Friday, under secretary Eric Fanning took over as acting secretary of the Air Force following the retirement of Secretary Michael Donley. Fanning will serve dual roles until President Obama nominates Donley’s replacement. 

Fanning is now the highest-ranking openly LGBT individual in the Defense Department.

Last year, Tammy S. Smith’s promotion to Army Brigadier General made her the highest-ranking openly gay service member in the U.S. Military, and the first openly gay officer of flag rank.

The two confirmations come just two years after the implementation of the repeal of DADT, the discriminatory policy banning lesbian and gay service members from serving openly.


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