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The Pentagon is about to begin requiring all recruits to go through mandatory orientation training, and gay and lesbian service members may face the prospect of being discharged in the event that they fail to comply. In addition, gay service members could be forced to reveal their sexual orientation to their commanding officer.
In a series of reports issued Tuesday, The Washington Times details the military's decision prison pen pals georgia to add gender identity to its list of required traits of military recruiters. The requirement is part of a tattooed guys massive new training exercise that is supposed to be finished by October.
In the wake of last year's decision by the Air Force to exclude transgender soldiers from its special training and unit assignment program, the Pentagon is now putting gender identity and sexual orientation into the same pool of information required for recruiters to vet applicants.
The report, published online by The Times, cites two separate reports issued this month by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees the military. One report said that the Air Force is making changes to its "DoD Transgender Talent Development program" that are "potentially more sweeping than the original policy." The other said that the Department of Defense is "considering the possible introduction of a new requirement to 'accept a transgender individual into the military' if he/she is medically unable to serve based on that individual's gender identity." In other words, the military may be making a decision to admit transgender service members as soon as next year.
The report also noted that the change to the Pentagon's training exercise was proposed after a meeting at the Pentagon between senior defense officials, "representatives of LGBT groups and transgender military personnel." The report noted that a Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment further, citing the sensitivity of the issue.
"Transgender recruits in the military have been waiting a long time for this," said Brian M. Weiss, CEO of The Trevor Project, which provides support for the LGBT community. "We were pleased to see these changes announced today, and to be involved in this process from the start. We look forward to having a greater voice in shaping our policy to meet this need." The military is a small minority in its population of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. But that doesn't mean it's unimportant. There are some 5.8 million active duty troops and more than 3.3 million military retirees in the United States.
"There's a real need for a better understanding of how to support people who are transgender," said Army Major-General Robert L. "Bud" McKenzie, the current acting Army Undersecretary for Personnel. "The Department has developed a comprehensive plan to support transgender individuals, and this document ensures our services will continue to support this important population." There are no plans to stop thailand cupid dating allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military. It's still illegal under the Pentagon's own rules to discriminate single chat online based on gender identity. It's possible, though, that the military will have to stop serving the current trans soldiers under certain conditions. "Some things we could do are that we could allow some members to have their medicals approved by the health department," McKenzie said. He did not specify, but there are some restrictions, like requiring medicals to be approved by the Department of Defense. "So the military won't be sending out medicals, but they'll still be sending members in who will be subject to medical evaluation," he said. This would not only be against the department's own rules, but it would also open up an important question: would this type of service be able to be reinstated if the federal government changed its own rules?
It's the gay male soldier who's the problem, and in order for the federal government to do anything about it, it will have to start by addressing the issue itself. This will require the Pentagon to take a stand. It will be difficult to achieve this in a time of crisis, especially when the political environment for military personnel and gay rights is already hostile, and when some politicians are actively working to undo the Obama administration's progress on gay rights.
The military is already in the grip of a controversy over its policy of openly gay troops. The Pentagon's chief of staff, David Petraeus, called the decision "very sad."
Petraeus also took issue with the fact that military policy forbids active duty gays from going on dates in bars or clubs, even those with a sign that says "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender." Petraeus said the policy "doesn't seem to address the fact that these same bars have gay-straight alliances."
However, Petraeus' comments have left his critics with little to complain about. He's not a fan of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy that prohibits openly gay troops from being open with their fellow troops. But he was forced to say he has "no problem" with the bar policy after he and his husband, General David Petraeus, were publicly attacked by two men who said they had served in the Marines and were offended by the comment.
There have been two cases in recent years where openly gay service members were targeted by gay opponents. In 2005, the having a boyfriend in the army Pentagon fined two military veterans $100,000 each for harassing a gay man they had been friends with in a bar. In 2004, two service members from the same unit who were openly gay were targeted in a lawsuit over discrimination by the local police.
The latest case is the first to involve a service member in the military. David american single girls and Davida Miller, who are divorced, were serving as social workers in the Philippines at chatroom irani the time of the incident. On Nov. 2, they went to the Bar at Pescadero Club and had a drink with a male friend, and when the man left, Miller told her friend that she was taking him home.