ADF to review trans policy

ADF to review trans policy

The Australian Defence Force has announced it has dropped its policy covering transgendered persons in the defence forces with a view to updating it.

The ADF’s Peoples Strategies and Policy Group cancelled the policy on June 1, stating that it was “out of date”.

Until a replacement policy is available, commanders and managers have been instructed to manage transgender personnel in accordance with the ADF’s Equity and Diversity policy and existing defence medical review provisions.

An ADF spokesman told Sydney Star Observer that, contrary to reports, there had not been a ban on transgendered persons serving in the defence forces.

“The cancellation of the policy in question did not reverse a ban on transgender personnel in the Australian Defence Force as a ‘ban’ did not exist. The previous policy did provide guidance on the recruitment and continued employment of members at the various stages of gender reassignment,” the spokesman said.

“Due to the complexities of the subject it was more prudent to cancel the existing policy and implement interim arrangements until such time as a full review could be completed.”

The spokesman said a signal released by Defence Force chief Angus Houston last Monday had been to ensure “the information reaches the widest possible Defence audience”.

Sydney Star Observer understands that in March the ADF tried to discharge a transgendered person on the grounds that gender identity disorder was listed as a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The person challenged the discharge and made a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

An ADF internal review withdrew the discharge in July but the matter is ongoing with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Reacting to the policy review, the Gender Centre’s Catherine Cummings said it was “about time”.

“Transgendered people have been acceptable in armed forces elsewhere, for example in Britain, for a number of years,” Cummings said.

“I can’t see any reason why transgendered people should be treated any differently in the armed forces than they are in civilian life.”

Sex And Gender Education’s Dr Tracie O’Keefe welcomed the policy review but feared the ADF’s definition of transgender excluded non-transsexuals.

“I think any policy change that allows intersex and sex and gender diverse people to take part in the whole of society is a good thing but it has to be a very wide philosophical perspective and not just putting transsexuals up as an exclusive group,” O’Keefe said.

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4 responses to “ADF to review trans policy”

  1. This looks like good progress.
    Tracie O’Keefe has a point, the majority of Transgender and Intersex people are usually left out, in NSW’s anti-discrimination protection less than 1% of Transgender people are protected for example and Intersex people are only protected if thought to be transsexual. Gays Lesbians and Bisexuals who aren’t ‘straight-acting’ may still get discriminated against for their ‘Gender Expression’.

    Remember folks if Federal antidiscrimination legislation is not inclusive some people could even lose protections they already have! So it’s vital that everyone gets included in federal antidiscrimination protection.

  2. The ADF might well be reminded that it took the death of my partner after a year of constant bullying and name calling for our community to have the ability to serve. He was murdered ultimately by Happy Clappers but was very depressed at the time on all sorts of medication. It was the ADF that allowed people to be bullied to death as others took their own life. They had a culture of hate. I went to the Democrats who badgered Keating into allowing our community to serve as the people in the Democrats were outraged and disgusted with some of the homophobic cowards.

    I fear a few of the sub humans are still in the ADF that bullied my partner as they were never charged and just moved on like paedophile priest are moved on in all their bloody glory.

    The ADF better fix this mess as a lot of angry Queens are watching everything they do with our taxes.

  3. I’m glad to see the ADF heads act more adult and progressive than the dinosaurs we have here in the US!

    There’s going to be a vote in our Senate today (Tuesday) on whether or not to finally eliminate the immoral “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy,and I hope those 100 people act responsibly and vote to kill this stupid policy!.