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Is the Department of Defense changing on transgender policy?

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Huffington Post
|
July 17, 2013
Issues: 

In the recent LGBT Pride Month Celebration at the Pentagon, President Obama's top adviser and the Secretary of Defense both used soaring terms to praise the fight for LGBT equality in the military. There's just one problem: the "T" in "LGBT" means "transgender," and transgender persons are still barred from service in the United States military.

During his speech, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel used the term "LGBT" four times, including in one instance when he said, "Gay and lesbian service members and LGBT civilians are integral to America's armed forces." Valerie Jarett used the term "LGBT" three times, also using "gay and lesbian" as a substitute for "LGBT," during her speechabout LGBT Pride Month. It's as if they forgot what the term "LGBT" means.

If Hagel is making a distinction between active-duty service members and the civilian DoD employees, then we have to ask why the DoD is making this distinction. Now that the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy is repealed, there is no legal reason that the military can't change its policies regarding transgender persons.