Gay Congressman Barney Frank hails CIA's embrace of GLBT employees
Gay Congressman Barney Frank hails CIA's embrace of GLBT employees
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank expressed his appreciation Thursday for the strong, albeit implicit, opposition to prejudice against sexual minorities in the federal service, expressed by CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"Dr. Hayden's repudiation of the long-held view that those of us who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender are security risks, not to be trusted with national security responsibilities is very welcome," Frank said. "This automatic disqualification for GLBT people seeking to serve our country in a security-related capacity was promulgated by Dwight Eisenhower in 1954, and survived until Bill Clinton abolished it by executive order in 1994. President George H. W. Bush, for example, explicitly refused to rescind the order during his presidency. While President Clinton's executive order abolished the prohibition, there continue to be those who express reservations about our ability to serve, and it is therefore especially important that General Hayden, himself a lifelong military leader who is now the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, expressed his disdain for such prejudice," continued Frank.

Specifically, General Hayden told the Committee that "it would make no more sense to apply the Army Field Manual to CIA - the Army Field Manual on interrogations, than it would be to take the Army Field Manual on grooming and apply it to my agency, or the Army Field Manuel on recruiting and apply it to my agency, or for that matter, take the Army Field Manual on sexual orientation and apply it to my agency. [Emphasis added by Frank's office]

"As I noted, thanks to President Clinton's executive order of 1994, the ban is no longer policy, but as we have seen in the Bush Administration, especially in the actions of Scott Bloch, the Special Counsel at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, anti-Gay prejudice has not entirely disappeared and this repudiation of it - indeed this clear assertion that it would be damaging to the national interest to exclude LGBT people from the CIA - is a welcome addition to an ongoing debate," Frank said.

General Hayden's comments came in the course of his testimony to the Senate Committee on Intelligence. Asked whether the CIA should adopt the Army Manual regarding torture, General Hayden disagreed, and to show how unwise he thought that would be, he used what he obviously believed to be an example of the lack of logic to the point.

Frank noted: "While I do not agree with General Hayden in his insistence that the CIA be allowed to continue to use torture as a weapon, I very much appreciate his use of the prejudice against sexual minorities as an example of an incorrect policy."

Courtesy of Congressman Barney Frank's office