(This post originally appeared HERE on the GLAAD Blog.)
On July 22, 2013, the LGBT military organization Servicemembers, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPART*A) announced its launch. SPART*A describes itself as a membership organization comprised of "LGBT people and allies who are currently serving or have served in the military…[an organization] built by, for, and with members from all parts of [the] community."
In addition to providing professional networking opportunities and support for LGBT veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces, SPART*A lists one of its top priorities as advocating for policies that will offer full equality and Equal Opportunity protections to all LGBT military personnel--especially transgender service members.
Currently, even one year after the repeal of DADT, transgender service members are unable to serve openly in the military. Because DADT was a policy that only discriminated based on an individual's sexual orientation, regulations are still not in place to ensure equal and fair treatment of trans service members. According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), transgender Americans in the armed forces continue to be discriminated against, denied veteran benefits, and even discharged from service, based a series of antiquated medical regulatory bans.
GLAAD calls for the armed forces to support organizations like SPART*A that promote full equality for all military personnel, and to lift the discriminatory regulations that prevent transgender people from enlisting and proudly serving their country.