Pentagon Says Transgender Troops Can Now Serve Openly
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says the military is lifting a ban on transgender service members.
"Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender," he told reporters today at the Pentagon.
He called this "a matter of principle. Americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete to do so."
As NPR's David Greene said on Morning Edition before the policy change was announced, trans troops have been "caught in limbo." He noted that trans troops haven't been eligible for promotion and their colleagues were required to refer to them by their gender assigned at birth. People who transitioned before trying to enlist were considered unfit for service."