End the Ban on Open Transgender Military Service

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End the Ban on Open Transgender Military Service

This petition had 1,896 supporters
Rachel Anders started this petition to President Barack Obama

Although the 2011 repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell allows gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers to serve openly, a Department of Defense medical ban still forbids open transgender service. Yet the National Transgender Discrimination Survey of August 1, 2013 found twenty percent of all transgender people are veterans—they are twice as likely to serve than their cisgendered counterparts. After the victorious repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, many of us thought our job as LGBT allies was done. But considering there are over fifteen thousand transgender troops currently serving in silence, our jobs are anything but over. 

A March 2014 study by Palm Center has three recommendations. First, the military should remove the ban against open transgender service. Second, instead of writing new medical regulations, assume any trans individual is fit for duty unless he or she fails an existing medical standard—the same ones affecting cisgender recruits. Finally, base new administrative guidance on the military precedents of Australia, Belgium, Canada, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, who have all successfully incorporated transgender soldiers into their militaries. Our troops sacrifice their lives for our freedom. It’s time to stop restricting theirs.

 

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