U.S. military transgender ban to be reviewed, lifted

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Contributor, Local News Philadelphia

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The ban on transgender troops in the U.S. military is likely to be reassessed and should be lifted, according to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

The policy is likely to come under review in the next year or so, James told USA Today on Wednesday.

James said she supports the lifting of the ban as she believes that transgender troops should be able to serve if they are capable of accomplishing the job and because times have changed.

Gays in the military have been permitted to serve openly since 2011.

James’ statement makes her the first secretary of a branch of the armed forces to support the idea of ending the ban on transgender troops.

James, 56, a former House staffer and executive in the national security industry, had 21 predecessors who were male and one who was female.

There are an estimated 15,500 transgender members of the military, according to Williams Institute, a think tank that studies the gay community. Some transgender people serve with the knowledge of their peers, superiors and doctors.

About two dozen members have been dismissed for being transgender, the institute said.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and some other members of Congress have urged the Pentagon to lift the transgender ban. Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and White House officials had expressed an openness to reconsidering the policy earlier this year.

However, supporters of the ban say allowing transgender troops … MORE

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