Friday, 17 September 2010

Australian military embraces transgender soldiers

Australia has had gay men and lesbians in the military since 1992, and has recognised their families for spousal benefits since 2008. Now it is going a step further, and will also accept transgender people in the armed forces.
The head of the Australian Defence Force has announced that transgender people will no longer be barred from serving in the nation's military.
The move comes 18 years after the ADF repealed its ban on gay and lesbian service members, and two years after it started recognising same-sex relationships for family entitlements.

The chief of the ADF, Air Chief MarshallAngus Houston, has instructed his commanders to “manage ADF transgender personnel with fairness, respect and dignity … and existing medical review provisions; and ensure all personnel are not subject to unacceptable behavior.”
Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, Spain and Thailand are amongst nations which are inclusive of transgenders. is making enquiries of the NZ Defence Force regarding its policies in this area.
How much longer before the US catches up?
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