CHICAGO—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the lifting of the ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the United States military:

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Today’s announcement perfects the bedrock principle of our all-volunteer military, which is to evaluate every individual on the basis of their willingness and ability to serve. Transgender service members serve our nation honorably right now. Secretary Carter’s decision permits them to continue to serve without living a lie, and provides much-needed clarity to commanders who for years have been stuck in the middle of a confusing policy. Just as with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the repeal of the ban on qualified women in combat, I am confident that our military will implement this policy professionally and responsibly, and that our fighting force will be stronger for it.

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