Thursday, March 13, 2014

Doing the "Right" Thing

I caught this story from an Associated Press release. As an American and a transgender veteran it quickly caught my eye:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An independent commission led by a former U.S. surgeon general has concluded there "is no compelling medical reason" for the U.S. armed forces to prohibit transgender Americans from serving and that President Barack Obama could lift the decades-old ban without approval from Congress, according to a report being released Thursday. The report said Department of Defense regulations designed to keep transgender people from joining or remaining in the military on the grounds of psychological and physical unfitness are based on outdated beliefs that require thousands of current service members either to leave the service or to forego the medical procedures and other changes that could align their bodies and gender identities.


 "We determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components," said the commission led by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who served as surgeon general during Bill Clinton's first term as president, and Rear Adm. Alan Steinman, a former chief health and safety director for the Coast Guard.

The ban itself of course is blatantly Un-American in that it discriminates precisely against transgender service members who are expressly working to protect many rights they have no access to. There is much more to this story. Go here to read it.

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