U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Wednesday the Department of Defense (DOD) will prioritize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people in its decision-making processes, according to the top item in an email from the Navy and Marine Corps Daily Media Report.
“On February 4, 2021, the President issued a memorandum directing all U.S. departments and agencies that engage abroad or are involved in foreign aid, assistance, and development programs to undertake a number of actions related to promoting and protecting the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) persons,” the email states.
The DOD falls under President Joe Biden’s new initiative since it operates abroad and is involved in foreign aid, assistance and development programs, according to the email. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cruz On Military Attacking Tucker: Biden Admin Determined To ‘Politicize’ The Uniform)
“In accordance with the Presidential Memorandum, it is the policy of the DoD to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and DoD will lead by example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world,” the email states.
The DOD will take a number of steps to comply with Biden’s memorandum, saying that it will combat policies of foreign governments criminalizing or discriminating against LGBTQI+ communities, engage with governments and the private sector to promote LGBTQI+ people and protecting LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers, the email states.
The DOD will also take into account what programs to fund based on how LGBTQI+ friendly they are, the email adds.
The department has been vocal in the past week about its commitment to diversity and inclusivity after being criticized for its priorities.
Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson was publicly rebuked in a statement from the DOD after Carlson compared the growing military supremacy of China to the US military’s emphasis on new female haircut requirements and maternity flight suits.