U.S. Defense Secretary encourages review of military ban on transexuals

"Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity," Hagel told ABC News.
By Matt Bradwell   |   Updated May 11, 2014 at 4:08 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- Although the Pentagon explicitly bans transgendered Americans from fighting for their country, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ready to consider changing the rules.

"I go back to the bottom line: Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity, if they fit the qualifications and can do it," Hagel told ABC News.

If reviewed and negated, Hagel acknowledged that more nuanced policies would have to be incorporated into combat procedures.

"The issue of transgender is bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it," he continued. "These issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we put our men and women in many cases don't always provide that kind of opportunity."

Earlier this year Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said there is "no compelling medical rationale" to ban transgendered soldiers from serving in the military.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Chuck Hagel
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'