NCTE Welcomes Review of Outdated Military Regulations Barring Transgender Service

May 11, 2014

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcomes U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s statement on ABC’s This Morning that the Department of Defense should review the military’s policies that prohibits open transgender military service. “We look forward to working with the Pentagon to end these outdated rules that harm our military,” said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling.

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told ABC News that he believes the ban should be reviewed. “I do think it continually should be reviewed,” he said. “I’m open to that. I’m open to those assessments, because — again, I go back to the bottom line — every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it,” he said.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “This willingness to evaluating changes to the medical regulations is overdue but very welcome. If the Secretary were able to meet and talk with the trans service members I’ve met, he’d understand the answer is self-evident. These are amazing people who serve even though they must hide a basic part of who they are.

Our National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted by NCTE and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, showed that about one-fifth of all transgender adults are veterans, making transgender people approximately twice as likely as others to serve in the military.

Read our full statement here.


NCTE welcomes Philadelphia settlement with trans worker, lauds feds for supporting case

May 1, 2014

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcomes the news that the City of Philadelphia has finally settled a federal anti-bias lawsuit brought by city library worker Bobbie Burnett. Ms. Burnett was subjected to years of workplace harassment and other discrimination after she transitioned on the job in 2002. Managers allegedly restricted her use of women’s restrooms on the job, gave her undesirable job assignments, limited her contact with the public, and disciplined her for frivolous reasons.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief in federal district court supporting Ms. Burnett’s case and arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on transgender status or gender transition. This filing is the latest signal that Federal Justice officials are taking the same position as the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: that federal sex discrimination laws protect transgender people.

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Expanded Federal Clemency Rules: Another Step Toward Ending Mass Incarceration

April 24, 2014

NCTE applauds the Justice Department’s announcement that it will broaden the criteria for clemency for federal prisoners. The Obama Administration’s action means that up to 2,000 people convicted of nonviolent offenses have a shot at shortening draconian sentences. 

This is another important step reflecting the growing bipartisan consensus that we lock up far too many people today for far too long, at tremendous human and fiscal cost,” said NCTE Director of Policy Harper Jean Tobin. 

NCTE was proud to recently publish “Standing with LGBT Prisoners: An Advocate’s Guide to Ending Abuse and Combating Imprisonment,” which focuses primarily on changing the conditions for LGBT and especially trans people inside prisons and jails. But we know that there is no such thing as a truly safe and decent prison for trans people, and far too many of our community are incarcerated.

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