December 10, 2014

Palm Center And ACLU Statements On U.S. Air Force Secretary’s Support For Inclusive Policy

U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James Voiced Support for Lifting Ban in a USA Today Story.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – December 10, 2014 -Earlier today, U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told USA Today the transgender ban currently in place in the U.S. Military should be lifted. James further stated, “From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.”

Palm Center director Aaron Belkin offered the following statement:

“I am encouraged by Air Force Secretary James’s announcement today that the Pentagon’s ban on military service by transgender personnel will be reviewed soon, and by her statement that, ‘anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.””

“Scholarly research as well as the experiences of 18 foreign militaries that welcome the service of transgender personnel show that an inclusive policy will strengthen our military.”

“Air Force Secretary James’s comments today are a positive step, but President Obama is the Commander-in-Chief and is ultimately responsible for setting policy, and it is imperative for him to clarify his position as well.”

Ian Thompson, ACLU Legislative Representative, issued the following statement:

“Today’s comments from Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James provide further proof that it is only a question of when, not if, the outdated, discriminatory ban on transgender troops will be lifted. Ending this senseless discrimination – as many of our closest allies have already done – is something that our military can do. What has been lacking to date is the will to do so. It is time for President Obama and the leadership of the Defense Department – both civilian and uniformed – to take the necessary steps to ensure that this ban will be lifted, so that all of those who are capable of accomplishing the job will have an opportunity to serve.”