A year after being hired by the US Navy, a human resources department official has been fired for failing to inform his boss about his wife’s sexual orientation.
The US Navy is not only one of the world’s most prestigious militaries, it is also home to one of America’s most powerful civil service boards.
On Friday, a Navy official said that the US Naval Personnel Board (NPCB) had fired Col. Patrick Gossett, the acting chief of the Human Resources Office at the Navy’s Central Command in Europe, for violating Navy regulations prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Gossett’s resignation was announced in a statement by the Navy.
It is not clear why he was fired, or what happened to the previous head of the office, who was relieved of his duties earlier this year.
The Naval Personnel Office, which oversees the Navy, oversees human resources for about 4,300 people in the US, and the Navy said it has no plans to replace Gosset.
The statement also said that Gossetts “did not maintain his integrity and honesty with his subordinates and the Government” during his tenure at the agency.
This has not stopped critics from saying that the dismissal is proof of discrimination against LGBT people in America.
“It’s hard to believe this is the first time a chief of a Navy agency has been forced to resign after having publicly acknowledged his wife was gay,” said Brian Beasley, executive director of the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.
Gosset has been a Navy officer since 2011, and was sworn in as the chief of Naval Personnel in February.
He had been serving in the civilian role since December 2014, when he was named to the Navy Personnel Board.
The US Naval Academy has a long tradition of being a welcoming place for LGBT people, but in recent years, there have been some complaints about the way LGBT people are treated in the military.
In December, two members of the Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors and the school’s student government issued a joint statement calling for a more inclusive environment in the Navy and a more open and accepting climate in the United States.
They said they were “deeply disappointed” by the firing, but were “pleased that the Board of Trustees and student government have been able to address these issues with the guidance of the Department of Defense.”
A spokesperson for the US Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news of the NPOB’s firing comes after a number of high-profile LGBT-related cases came to light.
In November, a sailor who was married to a woman was found to have been kicked out of the Navy after he was found with a sexually explicit text message that included a picture of himself in a bathtub, which he denied sending.
The sailor was later charged with “sexual harassment,” which is a lesser offense than discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.
In May, a transgender woman was forced to leave the US Air Force after being fired for reporting that she was being harassed by a supervisor for being transgender.
In June, a lesbian couple who were married for 25 years sued the Navy in federal court for the right to their children to be raised by their biological mother.
Last month, a US appeals court upheld a lower court decision to dismiss a case brought by the Pentagon over a ban on same-sex enlistment.
The ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces was overturned by a federal judge in September.
The Navy is the second-largest military service in the world, with more than 6,000 active and reserve personnel and nearly 4,400 sailors.