Pentagon to lift transgender military ban ‘within weeks’

The Pentagon is readying to lift a ban on trans people serving in the military.

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and bisexual people have been permitted to openly serve in the US military since 2013, when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed.

However, the US military continues to ban transgender people from serving under outdated medical regulations – which disqualifies people from service if they have “current or history of psychosexual conditions, including but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias”.

The Pentagon has come under increasing pressure to amend regulations and allow trans people to serve, with Defence Secretary Ash Carter repeatedly promising reform on the issue.

According to USA Today, the military is now in the final stage of readying itself for the changes, which are expected to be announced within the next few months.

Sources said that oofficials have been looking at how to accommodate trans people in “recruiting, medical treatment, housing, uniforms and physical fitness standards” before lifting the ban.

The newspaper reports that “a high-level meeting took place Monday to lay out the terms of repeal”, and that changes will be announced “within weeks”. At present a moratorium is preventing action against trans soldiers while the issue is looked at.

Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon said: “Senior leaders across the services and the (Defense) Department have met recently to consider some of the remaining key issues and are progressing quickly toward submitting recommendations to the Secretary.

“We acknowledge this process has taken some time, and that there are those that would like to see a policy decision immediately.

“It is important that we carefully consider the myriad of medical, privacy and service-unique issues so as to develop a policy that both ensures that service members who meet applicable standards are free to serve openly and addresses the readiness needs of our armed forces.”