Thursday, June 30, 2016

Defense Secretary Ash Carter Announces End To U.S. Military's Ban On Transgender Service Members

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Fantastic news and a great step forward.

OutServe-SLDN has the details via press release:

Today Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the recommendations from the working group formed last summer on the lifting of the ban on open transgender service. This announcement includes recommendations, plans and timeline to when transgender service members will fully be able to serve openly and authentically.

OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn issued the following statement: “OutServe-SLDN applauds and welcomes Secretary Carter’s announcement today. Every day, an estimated 15,500 dedicated, proud and courageous transgender service members have been forced to live quietly and serve in righteous indignation, anticipating the end of the discriminatory ban on open trans service to be lifted in the Armed Forces.

“Transgender service members have been awaiting this announcement for months and years: it has long been overdue. Secretary Carter, with his statement, has given a breath of relief and overdue respect to transgender service members who have been and are currently serving our country with undeniable professionalism, the utmost respect and illustrious courage, with the caveat to do so silently.

“Today, we mark history, once again, by ending the need to serve in silence. Today, we say (in the words of Attorney General Loretta Lynch) “we see you” and regardless of your gender identity we welcome you to serve this country with honor, dignity, courage and above all openly and honestly.

SPARTA, the largest organization of actively-serving transgender military members today celebrated the Pentagon’s announcement confirming that transgender Americans will be able to serve their country on equal footing with other service members.

“Secretary Carter today fulfills his promise that every American who is qualified to serve will be allowed to serve, said former Army Captain Sue Fulton, President of SPARTA. “The thousands of transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen – and their commanders – have one less burden on their shoulders today. We are grateful to the military and civilian leaders in the Department of Defense who worked so hard to get this right.”

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