By announcing Wednesday that transgender people would no longer be permitted to serve in the military, President Donald Trump is removing the U.S. from a relatively short list of nations that do not legally discriminate against people who may enter the armed forces based on gender identity.
While the history of sexual orientation being dropped from military requirements has been well documented, progress on transgender identities has been less clear. In 1974, the Netherlands became the first country to allow gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual soldiers, according to the Los Angeles Times. Also that year, New Zealand was ranked first for LGBT inclusiveness in a report issued by the Hague-based Centre for Strategic Studies, which ranked the U.S. 40th, putting it well below most of Europe as well as a number of Latin American countries, including Colombia, Chile and Cuba.
The list of nations known to allow transgender people to serve in the military comprises Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. Some other countries, such as Cuba and Thailand, reportedly allow transgender service in a limited capacity.Read more via Newsweek