BREAKING: Pentagon drops ban on transgender troops

Defense Secretary Ash Carter just went on TV to announce that the Pentagon is lifting its ban on transgender troops.

“I am announcing today that we are ending the ban on trangender-Americans in the United States military,” Carter said today at a press conference at the Pentagon. “Effective immediately, transgender-Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.”

You’ll recall that it was only a few years ago that the Pentagon also dropped its ban on gay troops, when Congress repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Carter said that approximately 4,000 to 11,000 troops, including reserves, are transgender.

Lifting the gay ban was big news, and the Republicans did all they could to block it. It remains to be seen if the Republicans in Congress do the same with lifting the trans ban.

The LGBT community has made remarkable advances during the Obama administration, with help from Secretary Clinton. And the fight for trans civil rights in particular have now accelerated at an astounding pace. In addition to lifting the military’s trans ban, we also saw the overwhelmingly negative response from the business community to North Carolina’s recent effort to ban trans people from public bathrooms.

The North Carolina GOP is now frantically trying to amend the legislation in an effort to stave off the NBA pulling next year’s all-star game from the state. So far, the GOP proposals have fallen woefully short.

It’s a new day for trans rights in America.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Badgerite

    In his case, that’s a good thing.

  • Phil in FLL

    …we will fight to make sure neither she nor Trump gets into office.

    That is one of the most dishonest statements I have seen in a long time. That statement is an obvious dog whistle that means “we will fight to make sure Trump gets into office.” You yourself don’t believe that anyone other than the Democratic or Republican candidate will get a majority of votes in the Electoral College. Either admit that or continue on as a hypocrite.

  • We should keep Gohmert just for the entertainment value. Especially since he’s completely ineffective as a legislator.

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  • Badgerite

    If the sun rises and the sun sets every day, you get to trust it. At least for the foreseeable future.

  • I don’t know how you can tell the future but I certainly don’t know what’s gonna happen by November so good for you.

  • It sure was nice when we were once friendly. But block away if you must. All my best to you.

  • Badgerite

    I said. Your choice. But don’t bother to pretend that the next POTUS will be anyone other than Trump or Clinton. About that, you don’t have a choice.
    Reality rules.

  • Actually, this blog 8 years ago was all for the nominee, with gusto. And did a lot to help him get elected. And we never block people who disagree with us. Folks who have been here a while know. We do, however, block people who come here simply to sow discord. And actively working to defeat the Democratic presidential nominee fits that category.

  • I’ll be the judge of whether or not to vote thanks.

  • Badgerite

    You may as well not bother to vote. But that is your choice. Just don’t kid yourself that the next POTUS will be someone other than Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump ( the Trump Monster who is literally a walking crime wave). Unless you are in some parallel universe, that is the choice.

  • Badgerite

    It would sure be nice to see the back side of some people in Congress. But I don’t suppose Louie Gohmert is in trouble this election. Damn!

  • There are two other options running besides Trump and Clinton. Jill Stein is fairly in-line with Sanders. Also, there’s the hope that Clinton will be indicted and unable to run and Biden or Warren will take her place. It’s a stretch, but as long as there’s hope she won’t get in office we won’t give up.

  • Of course they’ll try something — all members of the House are up for re-election, so they’ve got to come up with something fresh (Benghazi!!1! is sort of used up at this point, at least for a month or two) to use to run against Obama.

  • DADT wasn’t Clinton’s, it was Congress’. He signed it because Congress had a veto-proof majority, and it was a shade better than what was in place (in theory; in practice, not so much).

    If you’re going to criticize Clinton, criticize him for something he actually did. I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with something.

  • So if you’re not happy with the Democratic nominee, what’s you game plan? Sit home and pout? Or hope that Ralph Nader runs again, since that worked so well last time?

    No, Clinton’s not perfect, but she’s what we’ve got. Frankly, I’m hoping she’s got long coat-tails so we can get rid of some of the morons in Congress, and maybe even in state houses.

  • Not all of us are happy with the nominee, we do not think this is a path the country should go down – we think it’s disastrous – and we will vocalize our displeasure where and when we can and we will fight to make sure neither she nor Trump gets into office. Not unlike this blog’s stance 8 years ago. I will comment on Clinton when I think it’s appropriate and as she’s said Bill will be a major part of her administration, I think their failed policies are fair game – I think it absolutely applies here.

    If you don’t want me to comment here you can simply block me. You seem to have no problem blocking people who don’t agree with you or don’t say what you want to hear, so it shouldn’t be a fairly easy thing to do for you.

  • The primaries are over. Hillary is our nominee. Most of us have no desire in seeing Donald Trump take over the presidency, as we’ve seen what’s happening before when we were told the D and the R candidates were the same, and the R won. It was a disaster. Like Daily Kos announced with their policy a few months ago, we are focused on the general election, and getting Democrats election. If Hillary does something wrong, you’re free to discuss it. But if you’re simply here to tear down Democrats because your candidate lost, well, I think that’s unproductive and unwelcome at this point.

  • The witchhunts continued, and by some accounts got much worse, thanks to yet another failed policy by the Clintons, as well as another toss under the bus by the Clintons. And no, DADT included trans people too, but the language was very vague as there was even less understanding of what transgender even was then (it was often confused and or included with transvestitism). Many were expelled if not by the homosexual clauses by the morale and unity and cohesive clause.

  • It will be very interesting to see if they do.

  • Correct. And DADT was created by Sam Nunn and the Congress. And it only happened because Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban entirely, over 20 years ago, long before America was ready for it, apparently. And let’s not also forget that DADT was still better than the policy that was there before, which was an outright ban that included regular witch hunts against gay and lesbian service members.

  • Tulle Christensen

    DADT did not keep trans people out. The ban could have been lifed at anytime for them. DADT cover gay and lesbians only

  • The damage of Clinton’s DADT is finally undone!

  • Given the ‘phobes obsession with genitals and bathrooms, I have no doubt the Republicans in Congress will try something. But it won’t go anywhere.

  • goulo

    I look forward to the Republican furious outrage about this, paradoxically juxtaposed with Republican Trump continuing to try to convince GLBT voters that he is the best candidate for GLBT interests.

    (Or has Trump given up that ridiculous argument, now that Orlando is no longer fresh news?)

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