Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced this afternoon that the ban on transgender service members has been lifted.
The DOD had been studying the issue since last July, and as Carter explained today, their studies concluded that allowing transgender soldiers to serve openly would have minimal impact
Carter said that if the military is going to fight for American principles of equality, they should be upholding those very same principles.
And so, he announced, “We’re ending the ban on transgender Americans in the United States immediately. 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 said that there is an implementation timeline in place that involves making sure that they have been “stable in their identified gender for 18 months, certified by their doctor.”
Carter also made it clear that there were concerns from military leadership about the timeline, but it was altered accordingly and they’re now on board.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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