The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, responded to the results of a new national survey that show a majority of Americans support open service by transgender people in the U.S. military. The results were released by University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and were part of a survey aimed at “gauging attitudes towards transgender inclusive policies in health and healthcare, K-12 education, U.S. military, and in prisons.”
“Its clear that the majority of fair-minded Americans agree that when it comes to military service, what matters is the ability to get the job done, not someone’s gender identity,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “We are eager for the Department of Defense to complete its review of the outdated regulations that currently prevent transgender service members from serving openly and honestly. Our military families look forward to the day when all of our service members are supported and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
According to the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office, the survey found:
“Overall, there is some uncertainty of U.S. Military policies on transgender persons serving openly in the military. Sixty-two percent of respondents report that they do not know if transgender persons can or cannot serve openly in the U.S. Military. This uncertainty is understandable due to the fact that the U.S. Military is currently undergoing a policy change and may be moving to dismantle the ban on service by openly transgender Americans. This policy is supported by the majority of Americans with 54 percent of respondents reporting that they support allowing transgender persons to serve openly in the U.S. Military and 58 percent supporting other military branches adopting the U.S. Air policy that states transgender airmen and airwomen will not face ‘separation’ – release from active duty – for openly identifying as transgender or receiving a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. In addition, 66 percent of respondents report that there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgender persons from U.S. military service.”
Last month, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made history with his announcement that the Department of Defense will finally update the outdated regulations which ban open service by transgender service members and will take six months to assess the impact of the change and work out the details.
In March of this year, AMPA launched an unprecedented joint report with the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) highlighting the tremendous harm the outdated regulations inflict on military families. The report notes, “The outdated regulations serve no purpose and only dehumanize and prevent qualified and capable individuals from enlisting and serving. The ban perpetuates trauma to all those involved, both the service member and their family.”
There are an estimated 15,500 transgender service members currently serving in silence.
For more information about the American Military Partner Association and LGBT military families, please visit our home on the web at MilitaryPartners.org.