Groups: DADT Repeal Doesn’t Affect Transgender Troops
Even though the law banning openly-gay military service will OFFICIALLY be lifted Tuesday, LGBT rights advocates are reminding TRANSGENDER troops that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal does NOT apply to them.
The military can still discharge trans servicemembers if they publicly acknowledge their gender identity, or if they’ve had sex-reassignment surgery or Gender Identity Disorder. They can also be reprimanded for acting or dressing in ways that don’t match gender stereotypes.
Mara Keisling is the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. She tells OutQ News that her organization is working with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The groups want to inform trans military personnel about what they should do and what might happen if they come out regardless of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ repeal.
While Keisling says she’s “thrilled” about next week’s repeal date, she says it looks like transgender advocates will still have to go through another “decades-long process” to eliminate trans military discrimination.
KEISLING: Transgender service people and veterans need to step forward and teach American that transgender people are already in the military, they are serving honorably and well, and they should be permitted to serve openly.
Keisling says she does NOT think the Pentagon is “seriously looking” at this issue. Which is why she’s calling on some of the same people who worked on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal to come together with a new group of activists to lobby for an end to trans military discrimination.