Air Force Secretary Touts ‘Gay Pride' Events in Afghanistan Where Homosexuality is Illegal

Penny Starr | June 25, 2013 | 6:12pm EDT
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Eric Fanning, acting secretary of the U.S. Air Force and openly homosexual. (US Air Force)

( – Eric Fanning, the acting secretary of the U.S. Air Force and the first openly homosexual to hold the post, touted how “gay pride” events were being celebrated around the globe, including in Afghanistan.

Fanning said he wanted to give “a shout-out to all the other DOD Pride events” at the Department of Defense’s LGBT Pride Month event at the Pentagon on Tuesday.

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“This is not the DOD pride event,” Fanning said. “They're all over the world, including in Kandahar and Bagram this week in Afghanistan.”

The U.S. State Department’s country report on Afghanistan for 2012 says, “The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual conduct activity, and there were reports that harassment, violence, and detentions by the police increased significantly during the year. No law exists to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Homosexuality was widely seen as taboo and indecent. Organizations devoted to the protection or exercise of freedom of sexual orientation remained underground.”

“We call these ‘pride’ events as a way of demonstrating that we are proud of the progress we've made as a community, but I know for all of us here in the Pentagon and across the department, there is a different meaning, a larger meaning,” said Fanning, who served in the Clinton administration as an associate director of political affairs.

“We are proud that we are able to serve as part of the military, in or out of uniform, proud that we are able to contribute to this great mission of protecting our nation,” Fanning said.

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