February 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Ashton Carter confirmed as next defense secretary

Ashton Carter, gay news, Washington Blade

Ashton Carter during his confirmation hearing that took place before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 4. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly confirmed Ashton Carter to succeed Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense.

Senators approved Carter by a 93-5 vote margin.

Carter earlier this month during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee did not discuss the ban on openly transgender servicemembers or other LGBT-specific issues that remain concerns for advocates in the wake of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“While the challenges impacting LGBT troops may not have been addressed in the confirmation hearings, it is very important for our military families that Carter address them soon after he is confirmed,” said Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, in a statement after Carter’s confirmation hearing. “While we definitely understand the host of important challenges he will face broadly, non-discrimination protections for gay and lesbian servicemembers and open and honest service by our transgender troops are essential for continued progression of fairness and equality in the Armed Forces. All we are asking is for our LGBT service members and families to be treated like everyone else, no more and no less.”

The Blade will provide further updates as they become available.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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