Since the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of not disclosing one’s homosexuality was repealed in 2011, gays have been serving openly in the military. An estimated 15,000 transgendered troops, however, continue to serve in silence, and Ashton Carter, the Defense Department's new chief, says people’s ''personal lives and proclivities'' shouldn't disqualify them from service.
''[W]e want to make our conditions and experience of service as attractive as possible to our best people in our country. And I'm very open-minded about that,'' Carter said Sunday in Kandahar, Afghanistan during a Q&A session. ''I don't think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them.''
According to the Washington Post, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Obama ''agrees with the sentiment that all Americans that are qualified to serve should be able to serve,'' but referred further questions details regarding the military's policy to Carter's office.