TeleSur News Posted Thurs., June 30, 2016
The decision comes a year after the Pentagon opened all combat roles to women and appointed the first openly gay Army secretary.
The U.S. military is ending its ban on openly serving transgender service members, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement on Thursday.
Carter said effective immediately, U.S. service members would be able to serve openly and could not be discharged simply on the basis of their gender identity.
The news comes as part of a transformation plan of the military that Carter has accelerated in the last year with the opening of all combat roles to women and the appointment of the first openly gay Army secretary.
The U.S. military has thousands of transgender people in the military and until Thursday’s announcement most have been forced to keep secret their sexual identities to avoid being discharged, a situation similar to that faced by gay men, lesbians and bisexuals before the lifting of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 2011.