The Ban On Transgender Men and Women In the Military Is Over
In the weeks since gay marriage was legalized, it seems like more and more national leaders are taking it upon themselves to direct their agencies towards more inclusive policies. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has directed the Pentagon to lift the ban on transgender men and women serving in the military.
Starting in 2016, the military will allow transgender men and women to serve openly in the armed forces. Over the next six months, the Pentagon will undergo a review to make sure that certain zones and missions won't be jeopardized by the service of transgender soldiers. But the success of openly-serving transgender soldiers in countries like Israel, Britain, Canada, and Australia shows that the transition might be easier than expected.
While the Department of Defense undergoes its review, Carter also implemented a policy that would make it hard for military personnel to discharge transgender soldiers. All cases will now need to be reviewed by a senior Pentagon official.
In a release from the Department of Defense, Carter, who has long been a supporter of equality in the armed forces, stated, "As I've said before, we must ensure that everyone who's able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both."
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