Hagel ‘open’ to review of transgender ban

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Secretary of Defense Chuck HagelChuck HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill MORE on Sunday said he was “open” to a review of the military’s ban on transgender individuals.

“I do think it continually should be reviewed,” Hagel said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“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,” Hagel said, adding that the transgender issue has not been “defined enough.”

Congress repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2010, allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly in the military for the first time. Reversing that policy was one of President Obama’s first-term priorities. 

Hagel said the transgender issue is "a bit more complicated" because it has a "medical component to it."