The Pentagon may lift the ban on transgender people openly serving in the military, reports CNN. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Monday a plan to study how ready the military is for transgender inclusion.
Carter made the announcement in a memo outlining a pair of directives to both study the effect of transgender service men and women over the next sixth months, as well as adding the new protocol that any personnel diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify as transgender will have their paperwork for dismissal from the military reviewed at the highest personnel levels in DOD.
“At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite,” Carter wrote in his statement. “Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.”
The White House has been pressing the Pentagon to move ahead to lift the ban, following the high court ruling but several top department officials have made the case time is needed to determine how several medical and legal issues will be dealt with, a U.S. Defense official told CNN.
We definitely reached a milestone with the unprecedented decision to allow gay marriage nationwide. However, I don’t think the military is ready just yet. It will probably happen eventually, but this is going to be a slow and steady process since there is still a lot of ignorance and hostility toward what it means to be transgender.
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