By Edwin Mora
A married U.S. Army general introduced his same-sex spouse at the Pentagon’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) pride month ceremony on Tuesday, which featured Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as the keynote speaker.
“My husband Lucas is sitting up front here,” Brig. Gen. Randy S. Taylor said of his spouse, who was sitting in the same row as Secretary Carter, Army Secretary John McHugh, and other senior defense officials, reports The Washington Times.
The general noted that “Lucas has subjugated his own career to support the general’s frequent moves over an 18-year relationship,” adds the article.
“We bet everything on my Army career,” said Gen. Taylor, who experienced the military prohibiting gays from serving, then “Don’t ask don’t tell,” and finally the repeal of the ban in 2011 during his 27 years of service.
“Gen. Taylor was the master of ceremonies for the Pentagon’s 4th Gay Pride celebration that showcases a month of gay-themed posters and history,” reports The Washington Times.
Although Carter highlighted his commitment to equal rights, he gave no specific indication of whether the Obama administration will drop the Department of Defense (DoD) regulation that prohibits transgender individuals from openly serving in the military.
“We need to be a meritocracy,” he said during the event. “We can’t afford to close ourselves off to any body… We must start from a position of inclusivity.”
Soon after assuming his position as secretary of defense, Carter indicated that he was open to transgender people wearing the uniform.
A panel discussion during the LGBT pride ceremony at the Pentagon reportedly featured a gay Marine officer, a gay Army sergeant, a lesbian chaplain, and a transgender.
Amanda Simpson, the executive director of the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, is the first openly transgender political appointee in any U.S. presidential administration.
The panel members introduced their wives, husbands, and even a fiancé.