Coast Guard won’t ban transgender members unless compelled

- April 17, 2018

The Coast Guard remains committed to allowing transgender members to continue to serve until there is an explicit policy barring them, Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft told lawmakers today.

Zukunft said during a House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing today that senior officials from all five of the armed services continue to discuss how to move forward given President Donald Trump's efforts to implement a ban on transgender people serving in the military. But that the issue has not yet been "reconciled" among all branches, he said.

At least 17 of the 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard members would be considered transgender or to have "transitioned," per Zukunft, who said he counted one transgender person among his personal staff.

"We are certainly committed to their continued service in the United States Coast Guard," he said. "We will make sure that there is a one policy for all service members."

Zukunft made the comments in response to a line of questions from Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) about the Coast Guard's position on the matter.

"Seems to me this is an invented problem and a waste of time and dollars and military resources by targeting these dedicated service members who've proved their fitness and their ability to serve," Price said.


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