WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to an Associated Press story in which it’s reported that the Department of Defense will soon announce a plan for lifting the ban on open service by transgender people in the military.
“Transgender Americans have every right to serve their country openly and honestly, and for far too long, this discriminatory ban has robbed them of the dignity of doing so,”said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The time for ending the military’s longstanding ban on transgender service is long overdue. Values that represent the foundation of our armed services--including integrity, respect and courage--will become more true when these outdated regulations are finally updated. We welcome reports that the Pentagon is planning to announce it will end the ban, and we will carefully review their plan for doing so.”
According to the Associated Press, the announcement is expected this week and “the military would have six months to determine the impact and work out details, with the presumption that they would end one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service.”
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 These regulations are outdated and out of step with current medical practice.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.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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