Defense Secretary Hagel Open To Reviewing Military’s Transgender Ban

131017_chuck_hagel_2_rtrs_605In news that’s sure to terrify uninformed yet equally opinionated conservatives nationwide, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced that he is open to reviewing the U.S. Armed Forces current ban on transgender people.

A few months ago, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders contributed to a report that strongly recommended ending the ban based on outdated medical assumptions.

She wrote:

“Removal of the military’s blanket ban on transgender service members would improve health outcomes, enable commanders to better care for their troops, and reflect the federal government’s commitment to reducing disparities in health care access for transgender people.”

In response to questioning regarding the report, Secretary Hagel said:

“The issue of transgender is a bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it. These issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we put our men and women in many cases don’t always provide that kind of opportunity.

I do think it continually should be reviewed. I’m open to that, by the way.

I’m open to those assessments because, again, I go back to the bottom line. Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it. This is an area that we’ve not defined enough.”

Bureaucracy is a bitch, so to have top brass like Hagel at the very least address the issue without fleeing the interview in panic is a good sign.

Let’s hope he’s not all talk.