News (World)

Argentina’s army now has a 1% transgender quota while the US still bans transgender service members

Transgender flag being waved in a crowd
Photo: Shutterstock

While the U.S. still bans transgender people from serving in the military, a new employment quota for Argentina’s army will soon require the service’s personnel to be at least 1% transgender.

A decree signed by President Alberto Fernández this past September required “a proportion of not less than 1% of the total number” of public sector jobs to be set aside for transgender people “who meet the conditions of suitability.”

Related: Gay son of Argentina’s new president wore a rainbow flag for his dad’s inauguration

Now a memo has been sent to officers in Ejército argentino (EA, the Argentine army) asking to report on the number of transgender people already employed in their units and informing them that they, too, will be required to meet the quota.

The Ministry of Defense said that this is the first official message on the subject, even though it has already been discussed for some time.

“Ninety percent [of people in the military] are against it, but they will have to comply with the decree,” one source in the Ministry told Deutsche Welle.

The unnamed source said that many – presumably cisgender – people in the military worry about transgender officers “who later will have a rank” and “will in be charge.”

“How is a person in a lower rank going to take it?” the source said.

The source said that both civilian and military personnel can be counted to satisfy the decree.

AFP reports that it is not yet known whether the same memo asking for a report on the number of transgender people currently in the military was also sent to the air force and the navy.

Fernández’s decree in September was issued to create employment opportunities for transgender people.

“Every transvestite, transsexual, and transgender person has a right to decent and productive work,” the decree said, “in equitable and satisfactory working conditions and with protections against unemployment, without discrimination based on gender identity or expression.”

Transgender people do not have to have corrected the gender marker on their ID to qualify for one of the jobs and allows for jobs to be reserved for transgender people if they are still completing their education.

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