The Army Just Made It A Little Easier For Transgender Troops To Serve
The Huffington Post Politics
By Jennifer Bendery
March 6, 2015
WASHINGTON — In a sign that the U.S. Defense Department may be inching closer to lifting its ban on transgender troops, the Army announced Friday that it is elevating the level of authority required to discharge someone based on gender identity.
The authority to discharge service members because they are transgender has now been reserved for the assistant secretary of the Army, the highest level to which it has ever been raised. Previously, local unit commanders had the power to approve separation orders for transgender personnel.
The change makes it more difficult to discharge someone from the Army for being transgender. The U.S. military explicitly prohibits transgender troops, but an estimated 15,500 transgender people are serving anyway in secret, according to a 2014 Williams Institute report.
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