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By Courtney Kube
July 13, 201500:17
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Monday that the services have six months to figure out the logistics of integrating transgender troops into the military.
There is currently a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, but in a statement Monday, Carter said those rules are "causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions."
"We have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines — real, patriotic Americans — who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that's contrary to our value of service and individual merit," Carter said.
The military and civilian officials determining the new rules will work under the assumption that transgender people can serve without "adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness," the statement said, "unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified."
The Pentagon official leading the group, Brad Carson, will also evaluate cases of transgender people who have been discharged.
The ban will remain in place until the services complete their studies.
The move comes mere weeks after the Supreme Court made marriage for same-sex couples legal nationwide, declaring that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the Constitution.