• April 6, 2016
  • March 18, 2015

    In this letter, the authors argue that there is no medically valid reason for prohibiting transgender applicants from enlisting in the military, for presuming that they are less fit for duty or assignment than other applicants, or for presuming them unfit unless they receive a waiver. And, more generally, there is no need to presume all members of a group are unfit when the regulations already contain generally applicable standards to assess medical risk.

  • January 22, 2015

    Beginning with President Harry Truman's 1948 executive order2 declaring "the policy of the President" to be "equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin," commanders-in-chief have taken direct, personal action to ensure equality of treatment for service members. Presidential leadership has been a critical factor in preserving, in Truman's words, the "highest standards of democracy" in the military, "with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense."

  • November 26, 2014

    Retired General and Flag Officers, including Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, Major General Vance Coleman, and Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, endorsed a Palm Center report showing that the Army, Air Force, and Navy/Marines have failed to comply with new DOD rules on transgender personnel. On August 5, 2014, DOD issued a regulation eliminating some restrictions on the retention of transgender personnel. The new DOD regulation only allows Services to designate conditions as administratively disqualifying if those conditions "interfere with assignment to or performance of duty." The DOD regulatory change obligates the individual Services to update their own rules accordingly, yet none of them have done so. Instead, they all retain automatic disqualifications for transgender individuals, rendering Service regulations out of compliance with DOD rules. Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.

  • October 1, 2014

    An October 2014 report underscored the discriminatory nature of policies concerning transgender personnel. Palm Center Legal Co-Director and retired law professor Diane Mazur identified six inconsistencies distinguishing how military medical policies govern transgender and non-transgender members. Mazur found that: "two different standards can apply to comparable medical care, or even the same medical care, depending on whether the service member is transgender or not." While most military health regulations assess medical risk based on individual evaluation and ability to perform duty, the rules for gender identity wrongly "presume all transgender personnel are unfit and render their duty performance irrelevant." Mazur concludes that unlike medical policies for non-transgender personnel, "military rules governing gender identity are decades out of date." Click here for the full report.

  • August 26, 2014

    Three retired US military General Officers, including the former chief medical officer of the US Army, issued a joint statement today concluding that the military's ban on transgender service could be eliminated in a straightforward manner that is consistent with military readiness and core values. Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.

  • June 2, 2014

    One of the most prominent debates over minority participation in the military has been whether or not inclusive policies would undermine operational effectiveness. While the adoption of inclusive policy has tended to indicate that minority participation does not compromise effectiveness, the question has not yet been tested in the context of transgender military service. In this paper, we conduct the first-ever assessment of whether policies that allow transgender troops to serve openly have undermined effectiveness, and we ask this question in the context of the Canadian Forces (CF), which lifted its transgender ban in 1992 and then adopted more explicitly inclusive policy in 2010 and 2012. Although transgender military service in Canada poses a particularly hard test for the proposition that minority inclusion does not undermine organizational performance, our finding is that despite ongoing prejudice and incomplete policy formulation and implementation, allowing transgender personnel to serve openly has not harmed the CF's effectiveness. Click here for the article.

  • March 13, 2014

    A commission co-chaired by a former US Surgeon General released a report today concluding that the Pentagon's ban on transgender military service is not based on sound medical reasoning, according to the Associated Press. In one of the first and most detailed assessments of the basis and impact of the current policy, the Transgender Military Service Commission examined all medical and psychological aspects of transgender military service, and found inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Pentagon's rationale for the exclusionary policy, which remains in affect despite the scrapping of "don't ask, don't tell." Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.

  • September 10, 2012

    The first academic study of the effects of repealing “don't ask, don’t tell” has found that the new policy of open service has had no overall negative impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale. Co-authors of the study, whose publication coincides with the anniversary of DADT repeal, include professors at the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and U.S. Marine Corps War College.

  • September 10, 2011

    Huffington Post Media Group has announced that its second ebook release, due Sept. 20, will be Aaron Belkin's book on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell": How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' How We Won argues that lessons from the repeal campaign challenge some of the left's most entrenched conventional wisdom about how to successfully set social policy.