Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says he's "fine" with transgender people openly serving in the military – as long as it doesn't compromise morale, Yahoo News reports.
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Bush's view – echoing that of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, the Washington Post
has reported – marks the first time he has commented on the issue.
And it comes in the wake of the Defense Department decision this week to issue two directives
bringing the Pentagon closer to rescinding its ban on open service by transgender people.
Carter ordered a 6-month review to examine how allowing transgenders to serve openly in the military would affect policy and military readiness, and called the Department of Defense transgender ban "outdated."
"[I]f you can accommodate people who are transgendered and deal with making sure the military’s comfortable with this and making sure that the overriding principle ought to be how do we create the highest morale for the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen … and if you can accommodate those two concerns, then fine," he tells Yahoo News.
Allowing transgender people to openly serve would spell one of the military’s last gender or sexually-based service exclusions, Yahoo News notes; a ban on gays serving in the military was lifted in 2011.
Bush, although criticizing
last month's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing marriage in all 50 states, hasn't called for a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, as some Republican 2016 candidates
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