Pentagon Ready to Lift Ban on Transgender Troops

It could happen within days, source says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2016 6:31 AM CDT
Pentagon Ready to Lift Ban on Transgender Troops
Autumn Sandeen, who served in the Navy for 20 years as a man, poses for a picture alongside a Navy ship in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The end of the Pentagon's ban on transgender troops serving openly could be just days away. It has been almost a year since Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered a review to determine whether lifting the ban would affect military readiness, and sources tell USA Today that the Pentagon will announce repeal on July 1 after consulting with military chiefs on the final details. The sources say branches of the military will be given a year to bring in new policies on issues like recruitment and housing for transgender troops. The New York Times reported last month that the Pentagon's review found that allowing transgender troops, estimated to number around 2,450 out of 1.2 million service members, would neither affect military readiness nor cost more than a few million dollars a year.

USA Today's sources say there have been internal disagreements over some issues, including how long troops would have to serve before becoming eligible for gender transition treatment. Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, who is transgender, tells the Washington Post that transgender service members just want to serve under the same rules as everybody else. "We don't want any gray areas," he says. "Just afford us the same opportunities as the genders as which we wish to be seen." The Post's sources say "nothing has been set in stone" on a date for repeal, but it is expected to happen before the end of July. (More US military stories.)

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