By Tiffany Williams –
Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks met with LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations to hear about the key issues affecting LGBTQ+ service members.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks during the meeting provided an update on department efforts to ensure all individuals who wish to serve in the military and can meet the accession standards are able to do so openly and free from discrimination.
The organizations represented at Tuesday’s meeting included the Human Rights Campaign (HRC); National Center for Transgender Equality; Palm Center; Out in National Security; Minority Veterans of America; SPARTA; and interACT.
Since that last June, the Department of Defense has:
Fully implemented policies providing for the service of individuals who identify as transgender;
Adjusted military service policies authorizing individuals to access into the military in their self-identified gender provided all appropriate standards are met;
Enhanced policies and procedures associated with gender transition for service members;
Issued supplemental guidance to discharge review boards that expands current policies related to the evaluation of applications for corrective action regarding involuntary separations based on a service member’s gender identity.
Deputy Secretary Hicks reiterated the Department of Defense commitment to ensuring all service members are treated with dignity and respect.