Pentagon’s Plan to Allow Transgender Service Members Slowed by Disagreements

Posted May 16, 2016 at 11:24am

The Virginian-Pilot reports that “four months after a deadline [Defense Secretary Ashton] Carter set for a working group to finish evaluating [a] change, transgender service members are still waiting. Officials say disagreements remain in the Defense Department about how to move forward, suggesting that the Pentagon isn’t close to wrapping up the review, let alone instituting any changes”  

The piece continues: “The military is already in the middle of a historic transition allowing women to serve in all combat roles. And the Pentagon is grappling with transgender rights as the issue has gained attention in other parts of the country, including North Carolina, where the governor is facing off with the federal government over a ban on transgender people using bathrooms that don’t match the gender they were assigned on their birth certificates.”  

“The Pentagon’s decades-old policy considers transgender people to be sexual deviants, allowing the military to discharge them. The services – and later, Carter – decided last year to move that discharge authority to higher levels in the military, making it more difficult to force out transgender people. The lack of a new policy, however, continues to create complicated situations for transgender service members and their commanders.”