Republican presidential hopeful Senator Lindsey Graham said he would prefer for transgender Americans to be allowed to openly serve in the military—but that he’s not prepared to commit to that position.
“As far as I know,” the 59-year-old senator told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, “I don’t think there’s any bar against transgender service.”
But there is a rule against transgender Americans serving openly. “The Pentagon has guidelines that prohibit openly transgender people from joining the military,” said Ramos, adding that a UCLA study found that about 15,000 transgender troops are currently serving, and that they can be discharged for coming out as transgender. Recently, the U.S. military extended anti-discrimination protection to gay and lesbian servicemen and women, but not to their transgender counterparts.
To that, Graham said “my preference would be to allow everybody to serve.” But, Graham told Ramos, he’s not prepared to say he’d change the current policy as president, saying: “I’d like to hear from the military… I’d like to hear their version of why we do what we do.”