• Military Plans To Lift Transgender Ban And May Fund Gender Transition

    The U.S. military is considering whether it will conduct or fund gender transition surgery and treatment once the longstanding ban on open service by transgender people is repealed.

    The Pentagon may announce as soon as Tuesday a plan to lift the ban on transgender people openly serving in the U.S. within the next six months.  Top department officials contend time is needed to determine how numerous medical and legal issues will be dealt with.

    Those in the military who identify as transgender or are diagnosed with gender dysphoria are currently not permitted to take hormones or act upon their transgender status by dressing in military uniforms or living in barracks different from their established government status.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in February, shortly after he took office as secretary of defense, that he was “very open-minded” to transgender people serving in the U.S. military .

    “The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions,” Carter said in a statement issued Monday.

    Some of the key concerns involved in the repeal of the ban on transgender individuals reportedly  include “whether the military would conduct or pay for the medical costs, surgeries and other treatment associated with any gender transition, as well as which physical training or testing standards transgender individuals would be required to meet during different stages of their transition.”

    Carter is now under pressure from the White House to make the announcement following the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage. He has the power to revoke the DoD regulation that prohibits transgender individuals from openly serving without congressional approval because it is a regulation, not a law.

    Pentagon officials say they need to establish clear guidance on numerous issues before the ban is lifted, like whether massive hormone doses be taken in a war-zone, a definition of when a transition complete, what happens if a person decides not to go through full surgical transition, when does a person change uniforms, change barracks and  what type of medical care is paid for.

    Members of Congress have been notified DOD will establish a working group to study the implications that allowing transgenders to serve openly in the military will have on policy and readiness over the next six months.

    “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 Carter.

    An estimated  15,000 transgender persons serve in the active duty military and reserves, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director.

    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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