A study on the feasibility of transgender troops in the military was released today by the Palm Center. The commission co-chaired by former US Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and former Coast Guard Director of Health and Safety Alan Steinman found that the ban on transgender service was not only unreasonable but empirically unsound.
“.. finds no compelling medical rationale for banning transgender military service..”
The Military has changed many of it’s regulations to reflect the updated DSM but hasn’t done this regarding transgender service even though the DSM no longer classifies gender diversity as a mental illness.
Brynn Tannehill, Advocacy coordinator for Sparta an organization advocating for LGBT inclusion in the US military issued this statement:
“The Elders Report validates some of the things we have seen from our transgender service members in SPARTA. Transgender people have served, currently serve, and will continue to serve – Marines, pilots, medics, foot soldiers, intelligence specialists, submariners, in every field – with honor and distinction. We are more than capable.”
The United States Military ranks number 40 out of 103 countries studied by The Hague Commission regarding LGBT inclusion. The survey found the United States low ranking was mainly due to the exclusion of transgender people.
Retired Brigadier General Thomas Kolditz, a former Army commander and West Point professor on the commission, said he thinks allowing transgender people to serve openly would reduce gender-based harassment, assaults and suicides while enhancing national security.
“When you closet someone, you create a security risk, and we don’t need another Chelsea Manning,” Kolditz said, referring to the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning who came out as transgender after being sentenced for leaking classified documents to the website WikiLeaks.SourceSF Gate
The findings by the Palm Center and the Hague studies will undoubtedly be challenged by the likes of the Center for Military Readiness. Although founded by a woman the center has opposed woman in combat roles and recently derided Chelsea’s transition.
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