March 29, 2017

Anti-LGBT Record of Trump’s Nominee for Air Force Secretary Seen as Troubling

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, released the following statement today regarding President Donald Trump’s nomination of former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson as Air Force Secretary:

“The nomination of former Rep. Heather Wilson as Secretary of the Air Force raises serious concerns about whether President Donald Trump can be counted on to honor his promise to treat LGBT Americans equally and to provide the armed forces with the best talent to defend this nation. As a member of Congress, Rep. Wilson consistently opposed measures to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination or grant them equal protection under the law. As a senate candidate, Rep. Wilson opposed a bill intended to reduce anti-LGBT bullying, saying that victims should simply be stronger and more ‘comfortable with themselves’ instead of expecting perpetrators to be held accountable. In the Air Force, where it’s imperative to make clear that sexual harassment and anti-LGBT conduct have no place, this is a troubling position for any senior leader to adopt. As Senate members weigh the nomination, they should scrutinize this part of her record and consider whether Rep. Wilson is the right person for a job that requires placing cohesion and merit above personal bias. Wilson has a heavy task in demonstrating to the Armed Services Committee that she is the right person to foster a climate of professionalism and respect for all service members, including LGBT troops and women.”