call for end to military ban on transgenders
With homosexuals now able to serve openly in the military, the gay rights movement’s next battleground is to persuade the Obama administration to end the armed forces’ ban on “transgenders,” a group that includes transsexuals and cross-dressers.
“Our position is that the military should re-examine the policy, the medical regulations, so as to allow open service for transgender people,” said Vincent Paolo Villano, spokesman for the 6,000-member Center for Transgender Equality.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), which pushed to end the military’s gay ban, is urging President Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identity.”
It had wanted the order to happen on Sept. 20, the official date “don’t ask, don’t tell,” as the gay ban was called, ended via repeal legislation signed by Mr. Obama.
SLDN’s goal is contained on a Web page with the headline, “Working toward transgender military service.” The page states that a decision to remove the ban must be made at the Pentagon. “Relationships between transgender organizations, medical associations, and military allies will be crucial for advancing this issue,” it says.