Proposed Air Force Secretary Far Off On LGBT Rights

The President’s pick for Secretary of the Air Force is already drawing fire on her record on LGBT rights.

On Monday, President Donald J. Trump announced Heather Wilson, an Air Force Academy graduate and former congresswoman from New Mexico, as his choice to serve as Secretary of the United States Air Force.

For some, however, Wilson is way off into the wild blue yonder.

“Wilson’s record on LGBTQ equality is abysmal,” writes author Nathaniel Frank in a blog piece for Slate.com. “She consistently earned a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign for her votes on LGBTQ issues. She refused to support federal nondiscrimination protections. She opposed expanding federal hate crimes law to add sexual orientation and gender identity. She not only opposed marriage equality and even civil unions, saying contrary to all the evidence, that children do better with a mother and father, she also voted for a federal constitutional amendment to enshrine marriage discrimination in our founding document.”

Related: Air Force Grants Honorable Discharge To 91-Year-Old Gay Vet

Wilson, 56, served in the Air Force from 1982-1989, rising to the rank of Captain during a time which saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and destruction of the Warsaw Pact. She was stationed in Europe during the Cold War and served on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush.

“Heather Wilson is going to make an outstanding Secretary of the Air Force,” Trump said in a statement. “Her distinguished military service, high level of knowledge and success in so many fields gives me great confidence that she will lead our nation’s Air Force with the greatest competence and integrity.”

In 2012, Wilson ran for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico, but lost. During that campaign, Wilson opposed a measure to protect LGBT school children from bullying, claiming the proposal would criminalize teasing and “punish children.”

“It remains unclear if the new administration will target LGBTQ service members. But it’s not reassuring that Wilson is Trump’s nominee for Air Force secretary,” writes Frank, author of “Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America.” “Even if the official policy of inclusion remains safe, there are serious risks that a culture of homophobia or permissive ‘boys will be boys’ views toward harassment could devastate cohesion and morale throughout the force.”


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