WASHINGTON — The Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. armed forces, effective immediately, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced.
That means these individuals can go to war and bravely fight for their country without fear of being discharged or denied re-enlistment.
But when they come home as civilians, it will be legal to fire them.
Although a handful of states have laws that prohibit workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, there are still no federal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, and judging by Trump’s comments last week, such protections will seemingly take a a long way to come into place.
Carter and us seem to be on the same page, however. We have been fighting for the right to be employed and paid based on our qualifications and skill, and not be segregated by gender or sexual orientation. In his statement, he declared:
“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force. We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve. We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications to prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission.”