BREAKING: Defense Secretary Ash Carter Announces US Military’s End To Transgender Service Ban

Via press release from OutServe-SLDN:

Today Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the recommendations from the working group formed last summer on the lifting of the ban on open transgender service. This announcement includes recommendations, plans and timeline to when transgender service members will fully be able to serve openly and authentically.

OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn issued the following statement: “OutServe-SLDN applauds and welcomes Secretary Carter’s announcement today. Every day, an estimated 15,500 dedicated, proud and courageous transgender service members have been forced to live quietly and serve in righteous indignation, anticipating the end of the discriminatory ban on open trans service to be lifted in the Armed Forces.

“Transgender service members have been awaiting this announcement for months and years: it has long been overdue. Secretary Carter, with his statement, has given a breath of relief and overdue respect to transgender service members who have been and are currently serving our country with undeniable professionalism, the utmost respect and illustrious courage, with the caveat to do so silently.

“Today, we mark history, once again, by ending the need to serve in silence. Today, we say (in the words of Attorney General Loretta Lynch) “we see you” and regardless of your gender identity we welcome you to serve this country with honor, dignity, courage and above all openly and honestly.

PHOTO CREDIT: Transgender service members from SPARTA pose with SPARTA’s Sue Fulton (far left) and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (second from right). #TransMilitary.

UPDATE: Lambda Legal reacts.

“We are pleased with the Department of Defense’s decision to finally remove this unjust barrier to military service. The military is our nation’s largest employer, and we are encouraged by this critical step to help end government-sanctioned employment discrimination.

“Estimates suggest that 15,000 transgender women and men are currently serving—most in silence—in the various branches of the military and reserves. A 2014 study by the Williams Institute showed that transgender people are more likely to serve than the general population. Despite being willing to make the extreme sacrifices often required by military service, transgender service members continue to endure institutionalized discrimination and stigmatization. Transgender women and men deserve to have the same opportunities as their peers to serve in the armed forces, and to have their courageous service rewarded with the same dignity, pride and honor.

“As the Department of Defense prepares to lift this ban, many other historic barriers to military service come to mind, including race, gender and most recently sexual orientation. None any of these attributes influences a person’s ability or commitment in a military setting. Neither does gender identity.

“We hope that this newest measure will be implemented swiftly and effectively, and Lambda Legal will continue to work to ensure that all transgender soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors will receive the respect they deserve.”

  • John P.

    Oh, this should generate major SADZ from all over.

    • Nic Peterson

      Brothers and Sisters, drink deeply and savor the tears of those that have battled against us and lost.

      Or just drink, up to you!

      • John P.

        I can do both.

      • Piercedchrlz

        • ..

        • Frostbite

          Way too much sodium in those.

      • b

        I love the tears of our enemies. It goes great in my warlock brew. It makes them keep losing. The brew, and the fact that they are evil.

    • ZhyKitty

      They are going bat-bananas over on Free Republic. lol

  • Larry Gist

    Let the sdaz come pouring in. But we don’t really care do we?

    • Gustav2

      We all could write their press releases, couldn’t we?

    • greenmanTN

      Ohhhh, someone should rewrite “Let The Saints Come Marching In” with new lyrics!

      • Gustav2

        Have you ever read all the lyrics…it’s Armageddon I tell you!!!!!

        Oh, when the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the saints go marching in
        Lord I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the drums begin to bang
        Oh, when the drums begin to bang
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the stars fall from the sky
        Oh, when the stars fall from the sky
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the moon turns red with blood
        Oh, when the moon turns red with blood
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
        Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the horsemen begin to ride
        Oh, when the horsemen begin to ride
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the fire begins to blaze
        Oh, when the fire begins to blaze
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the saints go marching in
        Oh, when the saints go marching in
        I want to be in that number
        When the saints go marching in.

        • greenmanTN

          To the Religious Right it is Armageddon. Really all you’d have to do is Saints to Sadz and you’d be done.

  • Fantastic! About damn time. Shouldn’t matter if you’re straight, gay, bi, cis, trans, whatever you are, you should be able to serve openly.

    • greenmanTN

      There is a wonderful book called “Coming Out Under Fire” about gay military service during WWII. Hell, the US army had a troup of enlisted DRAG QUEENS to provide entertainment in areas deemed too dangerous for USO shows! And according to their accounts they did NOT often go home alone after the shows.

      It was only after the war that they kicked gay men out of the military and denied them their earned benefits.

  • Sonus Silentium

    The Teabaggers’ heads are going to BLOW!

    • Fortunately the Military still prohibits Teabagging.

      • Harley

        Now if we can only get the military to ban proselytizing like Russia….

    • Todd20036

      I’m not blowing any tea baggers.

      Though I have tea bagged others….

      • Sonus Silentium

        Me neither, and me too.

  • PickyPecker
  • JoeMyGod
  • JoeMyGod
  • JoeMyGod
  • PickyPecker

    If SADZ are fattening….we’re all going to need a referral to a good dietician soon!!

  • Let’s see how many DECADES it takes before we see a General, Admiral or Pentagon Chief of Staff who is Transgender.

    { start timer }

    • JaniceInToronto

      Maybe sooner than you think. I know this may sound crass, but there would be political hay to be made of such a thing.

    • JCF

      It would not shock me at all for an upper echelon “female” officer to now come out as Trans (i.e., male). They’ve been there all along, they can now be OPEN about it.

      • Who — exactly — do you have in mind?

        “They” would have had to have fooled the Military Doctors who examined them 100s of times for their physicals, and have fooled the FBI-NSA-Pentagon who runs the background security checks.

  • JoeMyGod
  • oikos
  • Gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth in 5…4…3…2…

    Not to mention just one more Horseman of the Apocalypse on the horizon.

  • WeRTheSquirrels

    Good for my trans brothers and sisters who wish to serve!

  • WeRTheSquirrels

    Relatedish: The American Transgender Population Is Larger Than We Thought It Was — http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2016/06/30/3794602/transgender-population/

  • Gustav2
  • Blake Jordan

    So the orange dictator will have a new ranting point, I wonder if it will do anything for him…

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      Yup, because preventing people from serving in the military is the way we strengthen our military.

      Just like preventing people getting married strengthen marriage and preventing people from adopting children helps children.

      Republican declarations make every sane person (and adorable beast) say Whut?

  • JoeMyGod
  • joe ho

    Those damn Democratic Party corporatists! They’re just like the Republicans. No difference. Why vote?

    • Dramphooey

      Another thing to note: this is an election year. Controversy is usually avoided. This is a party that is leading and I personally believe real leadership is what wins an election rather than pandering to mugwumps.

      • Cuberly

        I agree, especially with the headlines over the past few months. I think that’s why Hilz’ poll numbers continue to improve.

        If anything it’s the GOP that’s been desperate for moderation and trying to keep it more low key. The Bush’s rMoney, all the GOP elites are desperate to not look insane.

        It’s not working.

    • Paula

      I’ve noticed that certain ‘entities” have been absent recently.

      • greenmanTN

        Don’t say the name, don’t say the name. He’s worse than Candyman!

      • JustSayin’

        The disqus blocking feature has made my reading of the threads much nice, you might consider it for our chicken fucking voldamort wannabee

        • Harley

          Yes. I love the blocking feature. Fortunately I have only had to block one idiot.

  • kirtanloorii

    The conservative response is predictable.

    • Dramphooey

      So predictable that I’ll just tell them to go fuck themselves here without bothering to visit any of their lame hangouts.

      • kirtanloorii

        Gotta love all of those military readiness experts on the comments at the teabagger websites.

    • Joseph Miceli

      Just tell them to pray. That will tie them up for awhile without affecting anything.

  • greenmanTN

    A safety reminder: While watching right heads explode is a wonderful sight, be careful of the shrapnel it you are standing too close. Even the best Dry Cleaner can’t get brain tissue out of natural fibers.

    • Six Pins Delores

      What brain tissue?

      • greenmanTN

        You have a point….

    • m_lp_ql_m

      I only wear clothing of mixed fibers, y’know, just to piss off the gods even more, even though right-wing-exploding-head shrapnel is amazingly rubber-like, and just bounces right off.

    • Ben in Oakland

      If they had brains, none of this would have been a problem to begin with.
      QED

  • lymis

    But… but…. but… where will they pee?

    Congratulations to all the trans people who can serve openly!

    • Gustav2

      It depends, in the latrine or the head.

      • JaniceInToronto

        That sounds weirdly kinky.

  • Ninja0980

    Both parties are the same though right?

    • Joseph Miceli

      Just ask Bill Perdue, who never, EVER… posts on one of these articles where it is self apparent that there IS a difference!

      • JustSayin’

        Please use his correct name and title Chicken Fucking Voldamort

        • Joseph Miceli

          No, he’ll always be Trolita to me: a three foot tall, spoiled little troll girl prone to verbal tantrums who lives under a bridge.

      • Ninja0980

        He was the first person I blocked with the new Disqus feature so I can’t.

        • Joseph Miceli

          Well, you came close to getting blocked by me for all the Bernie attacks. What stopped me and made me unblock a lot of really abusive Hillary supporters was that I don’t want to live in an echo chamber. I decided I still love you as a fellow JMG’er…just a little less when you start painting EVERY Bernie supporter as an unhinged maniac out to elect Trump.

      • zhera

        Butbutbut Clinton! DOMA! DADT! CLINTON! [linkslinkslinkslinks]

        • Joseph Miceli

          For page after page after page after page……………

      • b

        Bill Perdue isn’t a real person here, like Band, Ish or Huntington. They are right-wing troll bots, trying to distract us and to lower democratic turnout. They will start appearing on this blog prior to November.

        • Joseph Miceli

          HE’S REAL TO ME!!! CLAP EVERYONE! CLAP IF YOU WANT TROLITA TO LIVE!!!!

  • MT YVR

    Such a weird mix. On the one hand this is so awesome. People can serve their country how THEY see fit and not face persecution for it.

    On the other… the USA military. Which. Yeah. Woo. (backs away from that political mess)

    So I’m gonna just focus on the achievement side of things and cheer on my brothers and sisters who are one step closer to living outside the closet. Congrats, darlins.

  • greenmanTN

    Damn! With the last few news items posted on JMG it’s like Christmas in June!

  • billbear1961
  • YakHerder

    Ooh, I’m torn:

    (1) Why should trans people fight for U.S. imperialism/capital? You’ve only got one life, and you’ve known oppression. Don’t be part of the War Machine, whose purpose is to subjugate and destroy.

    On the other hand,

    (2) Elaine Donnelly’s head is going to explode.

    • greenmanTN

      Trans people come in all different favors. The first transwoman I ever really knew had two bumper stickers on the back of her truck, “Velvet Lady” and “I’d rather be bow-hunting!”

      Oh, and she was 6’2″ and could could have picked me up by the head.

      • YakHerder

        Yes they do 🙂 Just like all of us. But what I think we can all agree on is that no one—especially not marginalized people—should serve as foot soldiers for the empire.

        • greenmanTN

          Believe me, I am no fan of wars, nationalism, empires, or oligarchies. I am still furious that we went to war with Iraq for no damn reason other than Bush/Cheney’s egos and to increase Halliburton’s profits, so you’re preaching to the choir. I also think it is important, given the volitile world we live in, that we have a strong (but not overly funded) military. This isn’t just some “Support The Troops” bullshit, but those people put their lives on the line and I respect that, no matter their sexuality, race, or gender identity. Whoever they are, I am glad they are there.

        • Friday

          Maybe there’d be fewer Abu Ghraibs if we didn’t just send would-be frat boys.

    • JustSayin’

      You just need to find some other country to live in and spout your shit about.

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        No, in this case I agree with YakHerder. When is the last time we have fought a defensive war? I would like our military to be strong, inclusive and there to defend America, not attack other countries.

        How long has the US been meddling in the Mideast, with what to show for it? Trillions in debt, hundreds of thousands of dead or injuries Americans, and we’ve created millions of enemies. What have we accomplished for all the treasure we have given up.

      • YakHerder

        Me: “Maybe it’s not a good idea to work for the military-industrial complex.”

        You: “GET OUT.”

        Chill out, dude. Since when did opposition to militarism (which is basically trillions stolen from you-and-me, as noted hippie pacifist Dwight David Eisenhower said) become a exile-worthy offense?

    • catherinecc

      > Why should trans people fight for U.S. imperialism/capital?

      I support your view generally, but you’re better off fighting (but more likely doing a mundane warehouse job) than engaging in survival sex work and dying at 30 in the shithole you were born in.

      For some, the military is the only way to get out.

      It’s also perceived as a great way to “finally make a man out of yourself” and failing that, commit suicide in an “honorable” way, which is “handy” if you have saddlebags of christian indoctrination weighing you down.

      It’s fucked, but it is appealing under the right set of circumstances.

  • Six Pins Delores

    Lambda Legal could have also stated that most probably serve with honor

  • bambinoitaliano

    Who needs fireworks to celebrate Canada Day and Fourth of July when you got RWNJ heads popping all over the country. Just keep the LBGT friendly news coming.

  • Cuberly

    Good!

    One more barrier to equality comes down.

    BTW-VOTE!!!!! Volunteer to phone bank or canvas on behalf of Dems. Down ticket races are more important than ever.

    If we lose this, all of the advances made during the Obama administration will be on the chopping block. It’s work we have to do, that’s all. Just work.

  • nocadrummer

    I can’t help but think of Maxwell Klinger from M*A*S*H.
    Although he wasn’t a transfemale character, when the show first appeared, most of us had little or no idea of the difference between “transsexual” and “transvestite”,

    I’d like to think of this as a step forward in ALL of our evolutions.

    • Hue-Man

      He never got his Section 8: “Klinger is actually the only sane one by always trying to get out, while the rest of the camp are crazy for accepting their situation and making the most of it.”

    • Friday

      Of course it was a sign of the times there that he was doing that to make people believe he was insane, only it didn’t work. 🙂

  • Mike in Texas

    Lovely … I remember the disappointment when trans people were not included in the DADT repeal. Now they have the spotlight all to themselves. Enjoy!

    • Harley

      And all those military members that don’t want to share a bathroom there is always Depends.

  • Joseph Miceli

    I love that Obama has no more fucks left to give! Let’s ban the AR-15 next!

  • tcinsf

    I’m sure there will be much hue and cry over this, but honestly, if someone can do the job, and it’s not an easy job to do, then I don’t see how gender, race, religion, gender orientation, or anything else should matter. The “unit cohesion” argument has served as a justification for mindless bigotry for far too long.

    • catherinecc

      Yup. It’s a damn waste of money too. A navy diver (about a million dollars to train) has been trying to get back in for some time.

  • Alan43

    Wow, and at the same time Fanning will be a gay pride marshal

    PerKKKins must be retching somewhere

  • billbear1961
  • Finally, the damage of Clinton’s DADT policy is completely undone! <3

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    OT – There will be a vote on gun control in the House of Representatives.

    On Thursday — one week after nearly 170 House Democrats staged a historic sit-in protest on the House floor demanding a vote on on gun control legislation —
    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he will allow a vote on a bill to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.

    John Lewis is a national treasure

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/286122-house-to-vote-on-gun-bill-next-week

  • The Sentinel
  • Hank

    Imagine a Transgendered Woman in Uniform going to the bathroom in NC!!!

  • Rex

    Reasonable and rational thinking.
    See, it’s not that difficult.

  • MikeinATL

    It is VERY tough being a bigot these days. Mark my words, instead of directly attacking the policy, they are going to attack the timing of the announcement (even though its been ongoing for a year or so)… “With everything going on, why is this the highest priority for our military?”… You wait…

  • MikeinATL

    I rarely go to Breitbart and Drudge… today, I must…

    • zhera

      I can’t decide whether you’re a sadist or a masochist.

    • MikeinATL

      To show how little they know of the issue, Drudge has a graphic of a thing of lipstick. Little do they know, the majority of trans in the military are women to men… men who could kick their arse, btw…

  • TheManicMechanic

    The sadz will drown out the fireworks for sure.

  • Duane Dimitrov

    The sadz are coming!!!!!!

    Watch out! The sky will be DARKENED by the level of ANGUISH felt by bigots who hide their bigotry behind religion!

    Watch out all you homos!!!!!!

  • JCF

    Awesome!

    …that said, I can’t imagine being FTM in a male barracks (esp if you didn’t pass very well yet). Scary.

  • It *is* good news. Unfortunately, the military moved from a 1953 level of medical science to something short of the present. Clearly there is a lack of understanding of what dysphoria actually *is.” especially the “being stable for at least 18 months” BS. However, I am sure that the 11,000 currently serving are breathing a sigh of relief.