- January 15, 2016
The ban on transgender military servicemembers could soon be coming to an end.
According to a Pentagon spokesman, the Pentagon’s internal deliberation on the discriminatory policy will conclude at the end of January, following six-months of internal review. A decision could be announced as early as the spring.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in July announced the establishment of a working group to study the policy. The group considered a list of issues surrounding the open service of transgender troops, including medical treatment, housing, uniforms and physical fitness standards.
There are approximately 15,500 actively serving transgender members of the U.S. military, making the Department of Defense (DOD) the largest employer of transgender people in America. These courageous service members are forced to serve in silence by DOD medical regulations prohibiting their service. These regulations are outdated and out of step with current medical practice. Unlike the statutory ban that interfered with lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members from serving (known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) the ban on transgender military service is regulatory and only requires action by the DOD to update.