(Washington, D.C., June 30, 2016)—Today, the Pentagon made a historic announcement that it is lifting its ban on transgender people being able to serve openly in the U.S. military. The announcement, made by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, comes five years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that allowed lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to openly serve the country as members of the military. The ban is lifted effective immediately.

Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq.

“We welcome this historic announcement. Transgender servicemembers have long served their country with honor and courage. As the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has shown, military readiness is enhanced, not diminished, when our armed forces end discriminatory personnel policies. While some questions about the details of the new policy remain, we hope the armed services will move quickly and decisively to implement the goals of the new policy, which are to permit transgender servicemembers to serve openly and without discrimination.”