Trans ban to be lifted by US Military
The U.S. military is on the brink of ending a controversial ban on transgender service members — one that prohibited them from joining the armed forces, or serving openly if they transition during their career. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, in a statement released Monday, called the policy outdated.
Carter also said that a working group will spend the next six months evaluating how transgender service members can be fully integrated into the military.
"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 said.
"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have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines — real, patriotic Americans — who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that's contrary to our value of service and individual merit."
Those service members include Senior Airman Logan Ireland and his fiancé, Army Cpl. Laila Villanueva, who attended the White House LGBT Pride reception last month. Their inclusion in the event, heralded by advocates, was also a reminder that the military was discriminating against some of its most dedicated members.
In a recent interview with the Air Force Times, Ireland described the exhausting challenge of simply going to work.
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