May 14, 2014

Statement By Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin About Today’s New York Times Editorial

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — May 14, 2014 — Following the publication this evening of a New York Times editorial about transgender military service, Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement:  “The New York Times editorial page  has confirmed the findings of a Palm Center commission of medical experts that included a former US Surgeon General, and that concluded that the military’s prohibition against transgender service is based on invalid medical arguments. In calling for presidential leadership in this matter, the Times echoed the findings of  evidence-based research that underscores the importance of whether or not the President sets policy directions clearly. The Pentagon’s own “don’t ask, don’t tell” working group stated, “leadership matters most” in successfully implementing openly gay service. Examples of leadership from Presidents includes President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union call to repeal the ban on gays in the military as well as President Truman’s 1948 Executive Order on racial segregation. In the case of transgender military service, the implication of the scholarly research is that to sustain unit effectiveness, readiness and cohesion, the Commander in Chief should clarify his policy  and the reasons for it.”