With liberty and justice for “all.”
In a historic move, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced on Thursday, June 30 that, effective immediately, transgender Americans can openly serve in the military.
For many people, this may sound like a policy change that is long overdue, but critics of the repeal still abound, and not purely for reasons of social prejudice. In reality, the policy change boils down to medical and financial repercussions that have kept the hateful and repressive regulations in place these many years, preventing even the most dedicated and willing of Americans from being true to themselves and others while serving and protecting our nation.
Following a year-long study meant to analyze these potential effects of allowing transgender troops and volunteers to openly serve, the Pentagon made its announcement at the very end of LGBT Pride Month, marking another push towards equality from the Obama Administration. As retired Army Major General Gale S. Pollock, who helped lead the study, said, “From a military officer perspective, we consider honor and integrity to be just essential values. But how can we say that when we’re asking these men and women to lie about who they are? That’s very comparable to the ‘don’t as, don’t tell’ piece. To me, it’s just wrong.”
Of course, the announcement still has its critics…
For many, the lift on the ban seems long overdue, but the move towards acceptance has its critics as well.