U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee said in a recent interview she wouldn’t be surprised if the military’s ban on transgender men and women were to come under review soon.
“Times change,” Lee said in an interview with USA Today. “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens there.”
Though gays and lesbians have been allowed to openly serve in the military since the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed in 2011, the ban on transgender troops remained in place. Many have called for the military to lift the ban, including a commission led by a former U.S. surgeon general. In March, the commission released a report that read, in part, “there’s no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components.”
Lee said that all those who can and want to serve should be able to. “From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t come under review.”