Pentagon releases new transgender policies

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Apr 01, 2021, 01.56 PM(IST)

US military Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The new department regulations allow transgender people who meet military standards to enlist and serve openly in their self-identified gender.

The Pentagon has issued new rules that offer transgender people wider access to medical care and assistance with gender transition, sweeping away Trump-era policies that largely banned them from serving in the military.

The new department regulations allow transgender people who meet military standards to enlist and serve openly in their self-identified gender.

The changes come after a two-month Pentagon review aimed at developing guidelines for the new policy, which was announced by President Joe Biden just days after he took office in January.

These people will now be able to get medically necessary transition-related care authorised by law, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a briefing on Wednesday.

The new rules also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. The Wednesday move coincided with International Transgender Day of Visibility and they will take effect in 30 days. This will give the military services the time they need to update their policies and provide guidance to commanders.

Until a few years ago, service members could be discharged from the military for being transgender, but that changed during the Obama administration. In 2016, the Pentagon announced that transgender people already serving in the military would be allowed to serve openly, and that by July 2017 they would be allowed to enlist.

After Donald Trump took office, however, his administration delayed the enlistment date and called for additional study. A few weeks later, Trump caught military leaders by surprise, tweeting that the government wouldn't accept or allow transgender people to serve "in any capacity" in the military.

(with inputs)

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