Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pentagon Paving the Way for Transgender Military Service


Another foreseen victory for diversity and inclusion, for the LGBT community, specifically for transgender people: the announcement that Pentagon is paving the way for transgender military service that will hopefully see the end of discrimination against transgenders in the military.

On July 13, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ordered a six-month study aimed at lifting the regulations that ban transgender people from serving openly in the military. Starting immediately, no one will be discharged for being trans without top brass approval—a move widely interpreted as meaning that trans discharges are finished. - Read more at:
 
The officials said Defense Secretary Ash Carter has asked his personnel undersecretary, Brad Carson, to set up a working group of senior military and civilian leaders to take an objective look at the issue. One senior official said that while the goal is to lift the ban, Carter wants the working group to look at the practical effects, including the costs, and determine whether it would affect readiness or create any insurmountable problems that could derail the plan. The group would also develop uniform guidelines. - Read more:
 
The announcement of a possible lifting of the ban has been mostly welcomed by transgenders though with some apprehension, it was reported. An article on TIME quotes Capt. Jacob Eleazer.
It’s not like the DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] ruling, where people are sitting there with their religious leaders on the steps of the Supreme Court waiting to tell them they can get married. It’s not a one shot, one kill situation. It’s protracted and lengthy and it will not be a 100% solution for everybody,” said Capt. Jacob Eleazer, 29, of the Army National Guard, who is also a chapter leader in SPARTA, a group working on behalf of LGBT soldiers.  - Read more
 
Another wary reaction comes from a transgender soldier:
I’m not really celebrating as much as everyone else is,” Sgt. Shane Ortega — a 28-year-old helicopter crew chief in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii — said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post. “What I’m really looking forward to is smooth integration and implementation. I’m looking forward to the increased cohesion and knowledge that U.S. military is going to develop.” - Read more at
 
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