US: Jeb Bush voices support for trans people joining military

The Republican presidential candidate says he supports the government’s move to allow transgender people to openly serve in the U.S. military.

Jeb Bush has said he is “fine” with transgender people openly wearing the uniform – but only if doing so does not undermine U.S. “troop morale”.

“If you can accommodate people who are transgendered and deal with making sure the military’s comfortable with this and making sure that the overriding principle ought to be how do we create the highest morale for the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen… and if you can accommodate those two concerns, then fine,” he told Yahoo News.

Bush’s comments come after it was announced that the Pentagon is readying plans to end the ban on trans people serving in the US military.

The Pentagon has come under increasing pressure to amend regulations and allow trans people to serve, with the American Medical Association among those calling for reform, and Democratic lawmakers preparing legislation on the issue.

However, senior sources have confirmed that plans to formally end on trans service people the ban will be announced this week.

Reports state that the forces will conduct a six-month review to assess the potential impact of the change, ironing out the “legal, medical and administrative” issues before going ahead.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual people have been permitted to openly serve in the US military since 2013, when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed.

In the UK, trans people are allowed to serve openly – and Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory recently told PinkNews it might even be possible for transgender women to serve on the frontline in the infantry.

The comments from Bush may come as a surprise to some, as he has previously spoken out against same-sex marriage, saying he thinks the debate should continue, regardless of The Supreme Court’s ruling.

In May, he also gave his support to “religious freedom” laws which allow businesses and organisations to discriminate against LGBT people.