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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The Palm Center, an independent research center publishing state-of-the-art scholarship on transgender personnel in the military, questioned today whether the Pentagon's promised six-month review of its transgender service ban is on track. Last July, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter created a working group to study overturning the ban, calling the current discriminatory policy "outdated, confusing [and] inconsistent," and saying that it "distracts commanders from our core missions." He promised that the review would be completed in six months and would proceed "with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly... unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified."

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A new analysis published today in the prestigious New England Journal ​of Medicine finds that the cost of providing transition-related health care for transgender service members will be minimal after the Pentagon lifts its ban. In "Caring for Our Transgender Troops-The Negligible Cost of Transition-Related Care," Dr. Aaron Belkin, Palm Center director and visiting professor at University of California, Hastings, concludes that the analysis should allay concerns about financial implications of inclusive policy. "Under any plausible estimation method," Belkin said, "the costs are minimal."

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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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