Defense secretary: regulations against transgender personnel need review

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. - PHOTO: Courtesy

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on May 11 that regulations effectively barring transgender people from serving openly in military service should be reviewed.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Hagel said, "I do think it continually should be reviewed. I'm open to that. I'm open to those assessments because — again, 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."

LGBT civil rights activists have long urged changes to the 30-year-old medical regulations that serve as a barrier to transgender people openly serving in the Armed Forces.

"It makes no sense to exclude qualified transgender servicemembers and we are pleased Secretary Hagel endorses a review," said David Stacy, director of government affairs for the Human Rights Campaign.