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Palm Center to lead $1.35 million study on transgender military service

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
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The Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, and best known for coordinating more than a decade of research into the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, on Tuesday announced a new, multi-year research initiative to study transgender service in the U.S. military.

The initiative is the largest and most comprehensive academic research project ever conducted on transgender military service, and Project Director Indra Lusero has launched the effort by commissioning 16 scholars to conduct 11 studies on whether and how the U.S. armed forces could include transgender troops without undermining readiness.

“This academic research will inform an important public conversation by providing facts and evidence about transgender military service and gender expression in armed forces,” said Lusero, in a statement.

“Militaries around the world are updating their policies, and we are already conducting research in Canada, Britain and Australia to learn whether their trans-inclusive regulations have impacted readiness,” she said

Although Britain, Israel, Australia and Canada allow transgender people to serve in uniform, the U.S. military lacks a clear and coherent policy, the Center said.

The initiative is being funded by in part by a $1.35 million “launch grant” from the Tawani Foundation, founded by Col. James Pritzker, cousin of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

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