Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds the Lifting of the Ban on Transgender Military Service

Media 06.30.16

Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Pentagon announced that it will lift its ban on transgender military service:

“Today’s victory is a tremendous one for a nation that once denied women, African Americans, and gay and lesbian individuals the opportunity to serve. An integrated military, now inclusive of all LGBT service members, is not only a sound military approach but a moral imperative for our nation. This was true in 1948, when this country first allowed women and African-Americans to serve in the military; in 2011, when the ban was lifted on gay and lesbian service members; and remains true today.

Attracting and retaining all talented service members—regardless of their gender identity—strengthens our military readiness. Updating military policy to ensure these patriotic Americans do not face discrimination allows them to serve openly and with integrity, and demonstrates that transgender people – like all Americans – should be judged for their qualifications.

This policy is an important step forward for our country as we recognize and honor transgender American service members and the patriotic contributions they have made. But we still have more to do to ensure that transgender Americans –service members, veterans, and civilians—are treated fairly in all aspects of American life.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit