Tags: Disagreements | Pentagon | Policy | Transgender | Military

Disagreements Stall Pentagon Policy Allowing Transgender Military Members

Image: Disagreements Stall Pentagon Policy Allowing Transgender Military Members
Defense Secretary Ash Carter. (Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 May 2016 11:36 AM

The Pentagon is four months past one deadline — and looking at months more — to agree on how to move forward with new policies aimed at allowing transgender service members to openly serve, The Washington Post reports.

Disagreements still exist within the Defense Department about how to proceed.

"If there was consensus on it, yeah, we would have done it," Peter Levine told the Washington Post. "But obviously there are different views from different officials in the services."

Levine, the Pentagon's acting personnel chief, said the goal is to get it done "in this administration," meaning President Obama's second and final, which puts Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on the clock.

Waiting in the balance are an estimated 12,800 transgender military members, according to the Palm Center, an independent think tank.

One major issue, among many, at the center of disagreement between military branches is how long should a transgender service member wait post-transition before being allowed to join the military. The Army and Marine Corps advocated 24 months while the Navy and Air Force thought 12 months was sufficient, according to the Post.

Though dozens of transgender service members have already come out to their units, they wait for directives from the Pentagon regarding uniforms, grooming and use of facilities, the Post reports.

Health care is also an issue for transgenders. For example, the Pentagon does not currently cover hormone treatment for persons wanting to transition gender, according to the Post.

"People are certainly suffering," Aaron Belkin, executive director for the Palm Center, told the Post. "It's really unconscionable that they would leave 12,800 in limbo like this."

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The Pentagon is four months past one deadline - and looking at months more - to agree on how to move forward with new policies aimed at allowing transgender service members to openly serve, The Washington Post reports.
Disagreements, Pentagon, Policy, Transgender, Military
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2016-36-16
Monday, 16 May 2016 11:36 AM
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