Majority of troops in survey support transgender service members in ranks

Majority of troops in survey support transgender service members in ranks
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A Pentagon-funded study found that more than two-thirds of active duty service members back having transgender individuals serve alongside them.

The report, “Support for Transgender Military Service from Active Duty United States Military Personnel,” reveals that 66 percent of the nearly 500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines surveyed support allowing transgender Americans to serve in ranks.

“Findings indicate broad support for transgender military service across all four branches of the military and military ranks,” according to the researchers from The Palm Center.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE in July 2017 first announced on Twitter that transgender individuals would no longer be able to “serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”

The administration followed with a policy that took effect in April 2019 and bans most transgender people from serving in the military unless they serve as their biological sex.

The policy allowed for currently serving transgender service members or anyone who had already signed an enlistment contract to be grandfathered in under the Obama administration's 2016 open service policy and continue to serve openly and receive medical care.

Because of these limited allowances, the Trump administration and its allies deny that its policy is a ban.

But the authors of the new report — collecting responses from 486 service members who are not transgender from August 2017 to March 2018 — found that the restrictions, “in part, based on a belief that transgender service members degrade unit readiness, contradicts our findings of broad support for transgender service among active duty service members." They add that the ban should be lifted.

Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin said in a statement that the research “gives the lie to the claim that transgender Americans disrupt the cohesion or readiness of the U.S. military.”

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“If the military really cares about cohesion, it should read the research it funds or stop wasting taxpayer money,” Belkin adds.

Last year, the Democratic-controlled House tried to reverse the transgender ban, approving an amendment to the annual defense policy bill aimed at lifting administration’s policy.

However, the language did not make it in the final version of the bill, signed by Trump in December.