Pentagon leaders announced today they are finalizing plans aimed at lifting the ban on transgender individuals in the military, essentially lifting one of the last barriers to LGBT military service, the Associated Press reports.

"Today's Department of Defense announcement is a positive sign that they understand that open trans military service is desirable and inevitable," said Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

"The Pentagon's rickety system of discrimination against us is falling apart," Keisling said. "It is in everyone's interest that the 15,000 or so currently serving trans people be allowed to serve openly and honorably. The Pentagon knows, as we do, how this review is going to end. The National Center for Transgender Equality urges the Department of Defense to quickly end the discriminatory policy and allow trans people to serve openly and with dignity." 

An official announcement from the Pentagon will come later this week, giving officials six months to assess the change and work out the details.

Transgender individuals will still not be able to join the military during this period.



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