Bil Browning

US Coast Guard Institutes Non-Discrimination Policy

Filed By Bil Browning | October 31, 2013 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Coast Guard, Department of Defense, nondiscrimination policy

United_States_Coast_Guard_Cutter_Chandeleur.jpgIf the US Coast Guard can institute a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy, why can't the other branches of the military? Oh, that's right. They're not really military; they're "homeland defense."

The guidance, made public Thursday morning by the American Military Partners Association and dated Oct. 13, says "sexual orientation and genetic information" are now included as part of equal opportunity and anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policy statements within the Coast Guard. The guidance is signed at the bottom by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp.

"We must continue to uphold our core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty which underlie our excellence in mission execution, good order and discipline, and morale," Papp writes. "Maintaining workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination is essential to our readiness and to ensure we remain, Semper Paratus, Always Ready."
In response to calls for an explicit non-discrimination policy, the Pentagon has consistently said it treats all service members with respect without committing to a new policy. The Defense Department didn't immediately respond to a request to comment on why it couldn't implement the policy if the Coast Guard has done the same.

Unlike other branches of the military, such as the Army, Air Force and Navy, the Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security and is subject to different policy. Nonetheless, the Coast Guard often implements policy similar to the Pentagon's.

For example, after former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced at the start of this year the Pentagon would extend partner benefits for service members in same-sex relationships, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano followed immediately with a statement saying the Coast Guard would do the same.

What a crock of shit. The Department of Defense should institute a non-discrimination policy immediately. There's no sense in giving soldiers leave to go have a same-sex marriage if their superiors are allowed to discriminate against them for it; it all goes together.

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