The U.S. Senate has confirmed Eric Fanning to the position of Secretary of the Army, making him the highest ranking openly gay member of the Department of Defense.
Congratulations Army Secretary Eric Fanning, the first openly gay leader of a US military service. 5 years & we're already running the place— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 18, 2016
The long-awaited approval came after Sen. Pat Roberts dropped his opposition to Fanning over a dispute that the Obama administration would continue efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Roberts said he has received assurances from the administration in private discussions that the time has past for any further executive action in Guantanamo.
Fanning has been a proud member of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. He favors the adoption by the U.S. military to accept people of all sexual orientations.
He once said:
Speaking personally, I always think it's important to have non-discrimination codified to include everyone. The military, because it has a chain of command, has a different attitude about this and a different way to try to go about protecting airmen, sailors, soldiers, and Marines--but Eric Fanning? Yes, I would personally like to see these things in writing and codified.