WASHINGTON – U.S. officials say Defense Secretary Ash Carter has gotten pushback from senior military leaders on whether the Pentagon should lift its ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces.
Carter initially told troops in Afghanistan that he was open-minded when asked if the Defense Department was planning to remove one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service. But defense officials say several members of his top brass told Carter later that they had serious reservations.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Military officials are reluctant to openly discuss their opposition. Much of it centers on where transgender troops would be housed, what bathrooms they would use, and if their presence would affect unit cohesion.