By LEE BERMAN, APA News WriterThe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, or NDAA, has passed the Senate with support from Democrats and a Republican majority.
But, the law doesn’t go into effect until June 30, 2019.
That means it’s up to the president to sign it into law, which is unlikely to happen in a hurry.
President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.
Va., during a signing ceremony at the White House on Thursday.
The NDAA would lift the ban on openly transgender individuals serving in the military.
But it would allow people to serve if they can’t serve because of gender identity.
The ban applies to people who were born with gender identity disorder.
The legislation is expected to include funding for transgender troops to get their surgeries and hormone therapy, a move that is expected by the end of this year.
It is not clear whether that would include transgender military members.
The ban has faced opposition from the military’s own leaders.
The Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Welsh, said last year that transgender service would be allowed, but not the other way around.
“We are going to allow the men and women who are qualified to serve to do that.
We are going do it in the right way,” Welsh told the Associated Press.
The Pentagon has not yet announced what services will be included in the transgender service.
It has also not given details on how it will provide transgender service, a policy the Pentagon has previously said is up to individual commanders.
A senior Pentagon official told AP the service will provide training and advice on transgender personnel and health care for transgender military service members.
That could be a significant change from what is currently available in the armed forces.
The National Center for Transgender Equality said in a statement Thursday that it supports the bill’s protections for transgender people.
“Transgender people deserve the same protections afforded to other Americans.
The National Center supports this bill because it protects our transgender service people and serves as a foundation for future policy changes,” the statement said.AP writer John Bresnahan contributed to this report.