SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On the eve of next week’s State of the Union speech, Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, today called on President Barack Obama to address the military’s ban on transgender service:
“I urge President Obama to address the military’s ban on transgender service during his upcoming State of the Union address, and to clarify whether he supports this discriminatory policy. While I applaud the President and his administration for the historic openness to reviewing the ban, now is the time for the President to lead by outlining his plans and goals for the policies that govern the estimated 15,500 transgender personnel serving currently in the armed forces.”
Next week, the Palm Center will release a policy memo on the importance of presidential leadership in setting military policy. Last year, the Palm Center released a groundbreaking study, “Report of the Planning Commission on Transgender Military Service,” which found that allowing transgender personnel to serve in the military “is administratively feasible and will not be burdensome or complicated”.