Signing of the Human Goals Charter on 28 April 2014
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Contact: Sue Fulton, Communications Director, SPART*A
SPART*A: Gay and Lesbian Troops Still at Risk of Discrimination without Military EO Policy Change
Adding Sexual Orientation to DoD Human Goals Charter a “Welcome but Symbolic Gesture”
Washington, DC – Today, the LGBT military organization SPART*A called the addition of sexual orientation as an enumerated class to the Department of Defense Human Goals Charter "a symbolic gesture" and cautioned that lesbian and gay service members still lack sufficient protections against discrimination.
“Today’s change to the Human Goals Charter is a welcome, but symbolic gesture – a first step toward ensuring gay and lesbian service members are treated equally," said SPART*A Policy Director, Army veteran Allyson Robinson. "The next logical step is to amend related DoD directives to add sexual orientation to military equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies; only then will gay and lesbian service members be protected.”
First published in the late 1960's, the DoD Human Goals Charter aims to describe the values guiding the Pentagon's treatment of its uniformed and civilian workforces. The charter promises to make "military service in the Department of Defense a model of equal opportunity for all" and "to provide equity in civilian employment." It is a strictly aspirational document and as such offers no recourse to individuals who have experienced discrimination. Such recourse, along with funding for ongoing diversity training, is contained within DoD Directives 1020.02, 1350.2, and other related directives. Sexual orientation was added to the Human Goals Charter's list of enumerated categories for civilian employment by Defense Secretary William Cohen in 1998.
"When signing the 1998 edition of the Human Goals Charter, then-Defense Secretary William Cohen quoted President Truman: 'We cannot afford the luxury of a leisurely attack upon prejudice and discrimination. The national government must show the way,'" said Robinson. "With up to fifty percent of gay and lesbian service members still in the closet and transgender troops serving in fear and silence, we trust Secretary Hagel realizes that the same is true today. Our LGBT service members need more than words; they need action, and we look forward to that swift action as a next step."
About SPART*A: SPART*A is an association of LGBT people who currently serve or have served in the military, along with our families and our veteran and uniformed allies. We are a membership organization, built by, for and with members from all parts of the LGBT military community. SPART*A’s mission is to advocate for and support our actively serving LGBT military members and veterans, and their families.