Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday reiterated his intention to allow transgender people to openly serve in the military, and said he’s confident any “practical issues” can be resolved.
“The question of principle we’ve sort of settled — what matters is people’s ability to contribute to our military,” Carter said when asked about the military’s transgender policy in a question-and-answer session with cadets at the Air Force Academy. “The only barriers we should ever erect to that principle are ones in which there are practical issues that we can’t work through.”
But Carter said he’s sure the Defense Department will be able to resolve those issues in this case.
“We do things in a careful, thoughtful manner, and I’m confident we’re going to get to the right place,” Carter said.
Carter did not specifically reference what has yet to be resolved. But before the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays in the military was dropped five years ago, some troops raised concerns about bunking and using facilities such as bathrooms showers with gay or lesbian troops.
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