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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Following Secretary of Defense Carter's announcement today of a review of the Pentagon's ban on service by transgender personnel, Palm Center director Aaron Belkin offered the following statement:

"Today's announcement is welcome news, not just for the 15,500 transgender personnel serving currently, but for all Americans. The review process should proceed quickly, and should be informed by social science research and the lessons of 18 foreign militaries that have lifted their bans and found that inclusive policy is not difficult to formulate or implement."

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CHICAGO, IL - The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation's oldest and largest physicians group with nearly 220,000 members, made history today by passing a resolution declaring that "there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals" from US military service. The voting delegates of the AMA urged that transgender service members be provided with necessary medical care "according to the same medical standards that apply to non-transgender personnel." The AMA resolution, which concluded that the military's medical rules governing transgender service are "out of date with respect to medical consensus about gender identity," was passed by a unanimous vote at the group's annual meeting in Chicago.

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The Palm Center is honored to announce a public forum with Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) on the historic role he played in the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell". The event will be held at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library on the evening of March 31st, 2015 at 7:00 pm (CT) with a reception to follow. The Pritzker Military Museum and Library is located at 104 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603. ​

​Admiral Mullen served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 until 2011, and was principal military adviser to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. On February 2, 2010, he made history as the highest-ranking uniformed officer to publicly support an inclusive policy for gay and lesbian service members, stating "It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do."​ ​Palm Center director Aaron Belkin will moderate a fireside chat with Admiral Mullen, including questions and answers from the audience. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.