The U.S. Department of Defense is readying itself to eliminate the military’s ban on transgender people. CBS News noted that it’s the last of the gender- or sexuality-based barriers in the armed services.
Pentagon officials are expected to make the monumental announcement this week, which will surely be heralded by the LGBT community. After the announcement, the military will have six months to implement the change as the legal, medical, and official details have already been prepared to make the transition from the outdated model.
“Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms,” said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions.”
In the six months between the announcement and the policy transition, transgender individuals will still not be allowed to join the military and decisions to kick out transgender service members will be taken under special consideration by the Pentagon. It’s likely that the DoD will enact the policy change retroactively to protect transgender individuals already serving.
This is huge. It’s huge for the military, and it’s huge progress for America. If the military can recognize the rights of transgender individuals, there’s no reason why other entities can’t. Anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality, should be able to serve the country.