The prohibition on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military "continually should be reviewed," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday.
Hagel did not indicate whether he believes the policy should be overturned. However, he said "every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."
A transgender individual is someone who has acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or presents themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
A panel convened by a think tank at San Francisco State University recently estimated that about 15,450 transgender personnel serve in the military and in the National Guard and Reserve.
In 2010, Congress passed legislation allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. Hagel said the issue of transgender serving in the military is more complicated. He said "these issues require medical attention" that at times cannot be provided in austere locations.
The National Center for Transgender Equality said it welcomed Hagel's comments, which were made on ABC's "This Week." The organization's executive director, Mara Keisling, said the regulations that disqualify transgender recruits and service members are based on outdated prejudices and stereotypes.
"If the secretary were able to meet and talk with the trans service members I've met, he'd understand the answer is self-evident. These are amazing people who serve even though they must hide a basic part of who they are," Keisling said.
SPART(asterisk)A, an advocacy group made up of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people who now serve or once served in the military, said a review was long overdue.
"Many of our allies, including the UK, Australia and Israel, allow transgender people to serve with pride and honor in their armed forces. It's time for the U.S. to join them," said Allyson Robinson, the group's policy director and a former Army captain.
A military review of transgender issues could occur as it also deals with questions about how to treat transgender prisoners. Chelsea Manning, a former Army private serving a 35-year prison sentence for providing classified documents to WikiLeaks, is fighting to be treated as a woman. She is seeking a counselor who specializes in gender issues and also wants to get hormone replacement therapy, which the military has said it does not provide.
I do not care if your gay straight or what. I know I am not gay.
Did you not watch the experts on the alternate lifestyles even on far left media? There is no such thing as Gay unless a lifestyle is given that name. After having these experts on the now, Marxist supporting media on the left has had many radical Gays and Lesbians on to come against these experts. Who is correct; is it the ones who treat them such as Doctors or is it someone with reoccurring feelings and anti-America Marxist media?
Note that Hagel says he is in favor of changing the rule! He said ANYONE who wants to serve! The article says he did NOT say overturn the directive, but his words said different! It is so sad that our schools are not teaching how American citizens kept their rights since our founding! Putin knows what it is! He investigated it and found out one simple thing! We do not get our freedoms from any government but from the Creator. It further states that they cannot be removed without war against the tyrants trying to take them!
It is totally beyond belief that Hagel should even consider a consideration of this absolute Insanity. God help & protect our Military!
Well Bruno did you know that Mr. Hagle is a newly converted Muslim ! Do ya think that's how he got the job ? and do think he is the best man for the job
Hagal needs to be arrested for treason.
So do most of this administration especially including Obama. Hillary should be charged with murder as well as Obama but with our Marxist media they can do anything and it will be lied about; or whitewashed; or placed under the rug.
Hagel should resign and then get lost.
Ok Hagel, what is a transgender? I damn sure do not know since some are simply hetero fetish transvestites, drag queens, crossdressing homosexuals and on and on. I wonder if he means those who are transsexual and had a sex change but then that would be obvious during the next physical would it not?
Fact: Mara Keisling is a male transvestite and Manning is a convict who has no right to ask the taxpayers to pay for an operation he could have had before his conviction and violation of HIS sworn oath to defend and protect.
Did you hear about the male prisoner who was granted the operation at taxpayer expense? It goes against the experts on the subject but Liberals tend to do this all the time! Wait and see as we now pay for what others do in their bedroom and next it will be paying for how one seems to feel about themselves.. citizens will be asked to pay for these operations. Now, is there any question as to how much evil the Marxist supporting Liberal media is?
why don't we just train monkeys to be our military...that way we wont have to worry about all of this social engineering bullsh-t......this is getting so out of wack that lts like living in another world in the twilight zone.
Well said Al....