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military matters

Chuck Hagel is open to reviewing military's ban on transgender people

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On Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the military should "continually" review its ban on transgender individuals in the armed forces.

Hagel made his comments on ABC's This Week, adding, "Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."

It's unlikely that any changes will happen soon, as the Pentagon has long said that the issue is under review. The New York Times reports that Defense Department guidelines "describe transgender people as sexual deviants and their condition as 'paraphilia,' with its connotations of the atypical and extreme." In March, a panel affiliated with San Francisco State University estimated that more than 15,000 transgender people serve in the military, National Guard, and the Reserve. Members of the study believe that the number is so high because "many male-to-female transgender individuals enlist to try to submerge their feminine sides, while many female-to-male transgender people enlist because they want to be in a hypermasculine environment."