Joined by the 75th U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the 23rd U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, and the 22nd U.S. Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) filed a “friend of the court” brief last week with the Supreme Court of the United States in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case that could decide whether adoption and foster care agencies can use taxpayer funds to discriminate against qualified LGBTQ parents.

In the brief, MMAA and the former service secretaries say that the Court’s decision could have substantial practical consequences for LGBTQ service members, spouses, and family members—and therefore the military itself. “Allowing the discrimination urged here would directly harm LGBTQ service members and their families, and, faced with being relocated to areas where discrimination might impede them from accessing vital services, many LGBTQ people will be discouraged from enlisting or continuing their service. That would undermine important military interests.”

MMAA and the former service secretaries argue, “LGBTQ service members and their families are vital to military success. Removing obstacles to building a fulfilling home life improves the well-being of individual service members, and the happiness of their families, and consequently the effectiveness of the military overall. By contrast, permitting government contractors to opt out of serving LGBTQ military families impairs those vital goals. When the government can ask Americans to sacrifice for their country but is compelled to authorize its agents to treat some of them as second-class citizens, it impairs the overall ability of the military to recruit and retain the best people, and that affects military readiness and effectiveness.”

Read the brief in full here.

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