U.S. military to review ban on transgender service (VIDEO)

The U.S. military’s ban on transgender service “continually should be reviewed,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday.

During a recent episode of ABC’s “This Week,” Hagel said “every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualification and can do it.” However, Hagel did not expressly say he believes the ban should be lifted, ABC News reports.

While gays and lesbians are currently allowed to serve in the U.S. military, those who identify as transgender are not, and executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality Mara Keisling says that ideal is outdated.

“If the secretary were able to meet and talk with the trans service members I’ve met, he’d understand the answer if self-evident,” Kesiling said. “These are amazing people who serve even thought they must hide a basic part of who they are.”

But Keisling and her organization aren’t the only one’s that feel that way. SPART*A, an advocacy “group of LGBT people who currently serve or have served in the military,” says other countries allow transgenders to serve in their militaries, and so should America.

“Many of our allies, including the UK, Australia and Israel, allow transgender people to serve with pride and honor in their armed forces,” said former Army Capt. Allyson Robinson, the groups’ policy director. “It’s time for the U.S. to join them.”

[ ABC ]