Military Could Reverse Transgender Ban In Under 30 Days, Says New Policy Memo | National Center for Transgender Equality

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David Farmer
July 22, 2020

Military Could Reverse Transgender Ban In Under 30 Days, Says New Policy Memo

On Three-Year Anniversary of Tweets Announcing Transgender Troop Ban, Palm Center Memo Finds that All Necessary Rules for Inclusive Service Remain Intact

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On the eve of the three-year anniversary of tweets announcing that transgender troops would be banned from the military, the Palm Center has released a policy memo explaining that the ban can be easily reversed in under thirty days. The memo was authored by retired Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, M.D., the former Surgeon General equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard, and was endorsed by nine major military, LGBTQ, and progressive groups who all support ending the ban.

The new policy memo is significant because the military often takes considerable time to study and implement policy changes. In this case, the research shows that all the ingredients are there for a virtually instant reversal.

“A big ship can take time to turn around, so often the Pentagon needs to study policy changes and move cautiously,” said Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center. “But this is the rare case where, since the military left inclusive policy for already-serving transgender personnel in place even as it implemented its ban, the switch is just waiting to be flipped.”

The eight-page memo was endorsed by the Center for American Progress; GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders; Human Rights Campaign; Lambda Legal; Modern Military Association of America; National Center for Lesbian Rights; National Center for Transgender Equality; Service Members, Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPART*A); and Transgender American Veterans Association.

“It’s past time to end the ban on transgender troops serving openly,” said Mara Keisling, Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “The policy is discriminatory, and violates the core American values of freedom and opportunity for all. We must move quickly to right this wrong and protect trans members of the military.”

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