In another historic moment for the Obama administration, the Senate on Tuesday evening confirmed the long-stalled nomination of Eric Fanning to be Army secretary.
Fanning becomes the first openly gay leader of any U.S. military service — a milestone not lost on gay rights groups, coming five years after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which had prohibited gay and lesbian service members from being open about their sexuality.
Eric Fanning at the 30th Space Symposium Corporate Partnership dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May 2014. Duncan Wood / U.S. Air Force via AP — file
“Eric Fanning’s historic confirmation today as Secretary of the U.S. Army is a demonstration of the continued progress towards fairness and equality in our nation’s armed forces,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement.