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SLATE | May 12, 2014 | Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Sunday that the ban on transgender service members should be “reviewed” and that “every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity” to do so. Although military spokespeople havesaid before that the policy is regularly under review, the remarks by the Pentagon chief, in which he said he was “open” to reassessing the policy and reiterated that service members should be judged by their performance abilities, appear to signal a new level of commitment to reconsidering the trans ban.
SLATE | Apr. 22, 2014 | One fall day in 1990, Ninia Baehr found herself with an ear infection and no health insurance. When the pain became unbearable, she and her partner, Genora Dancel, called Bill Woods, a lawyer at a Honolulu gay and lesbian community center, to see if there were any options for domestic-partner insurance benefits. Woods said no, but as it happened he’d been looking for couples to challenge the Hawaii law barring gay couples from getting married. He asked Baehr and Dancel if they’d join. Dancel, who wasn’t out to her family, was hesitant, and thought hard about it. “I said to myself, ‘This is what my life has led up to,’ ” she recalled. “I’m tired of being treated differently, and I have as much right as anyone else to get married.” The next morning, Baehr and Dancel, along with two other couples, applied for a marriage license from the Hawaii Health Department. They were denied. So they decided to sue. A revolution had begun.