January 10, 2017

Mattis’s Past Positions on LGBT Troops and Women in Combat Raise Concerns

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, released the following statement in anticipation of General James Mattis’s confirmation hearing:

“The military spent years studying LGBT troops and women in combat, and inclusive approaches are now established military policy. According to research by outside scholars as well as the military itself, inclusion strengthens readiness. General Mattis has expressed views regarding service by LGBT troops and women in combat that are inconsistent with the research, with established military policy and with the attitudes and expectations of a majority of Americans, military and civilian alike. Service members who have volunteered to risk their lives for our country deserve to know whether they can continue to serve on the basis of existing DoD policies, whether the General supports assessing service members on the basis of merit rather than social judgment, and whether he views combat as an exclusive zone for straight men.”