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US military to lift transgender ban—media

/ 02:10 PM June 25, 2016
Former U.S. Army soldier Danny Ingram poses for a portrait at his home, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Atlanta, Ga. Ingram was one of the first to be expelled after “don't ask, don't tell” was enacted. He was given an honorable discharge from the Army and he doesn't want to change the narrative that references his sexual orientation. It's a “badge of honor,” he said. AP Photo

Former U.S. Army soldier Danny Ingram poses for a portrait at his home, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Atlanta, Ga. Ingram was one of the first to be expelled after “don’t ask, don’t tell” was enacted. He was given an honorable discharge from the Army and he doesn’t want to change the narrative that references his sexual orientation. It’s a “badge of honor,” he said. AP Photo

WASHINGTON—The Pentagon is set to lift its ban on transgender troops within the coming weeks, US media reported Friday.

The move would be another major milestone for America’s vast military, which up until five years ago still banned gay troops from openly discussing their sexuality under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

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READ: Obama ends gays in US military ban

USA Today said the transgender announcement is expected July 1 and the plan would require each branch of the military to phase in the new policy over a 12-month period.

READ: US military to consider transgender troops

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook declined to confirm reports, but said a decision was due “soon.”

Currently, Pentagon rules allow transgender troops to be discharged from the military.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last year ordered all military roles — including combat positions — to be opened to women.

Maryland Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer welcomed the news.

“The reversal of the ban is a major step forward in the effort to secure the full rights and equality of LGBT people in our country, and it will strengthen our military by ensuring that talented, dedicated candidates are not turned away or discouraged from serving because of their gender identity,” he said in a statement.

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TAGS: Equality, gay, LGBT, transgender, US military
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