defense secretary carter transgender military policy announcement_00000520.jpg
CNN
defense secretary carter transgender military policy announcement_00000520.jpg
Now playing
01:25
Pentagon ends military transgender ban (2016)
NS Slug: DC: TRANSGENDER WOMAN HARASSED AT RESTAURANT  Synopsis: Transgender woman says she was harassed, kicked out over bathroom use at D.C. restaurant  Keywords: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TRANSGENDER BATHROOM HARASSED
WJLA
NS Slug: DC: TRANSGENDER WOMAN HARASSED AT RESTAURANT Synopsis: Transgender woman says she was harassed, kicked out over bathroom use at D.C. restaurant Keywords: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TRANSGENDER BATHROOM HARASSED
Now playing
01:35
Transgender woman asked for ID to use bathroom
Marvia Pakistan 1
Kohenoor News
Marvia Pakistan 1
Now playing
00:50
Pakistan's first transgender news anchor on air
Ashley Smith/From Facebook
Now playing
00:56
Trans woman's photo with governor goes viral
Ken Ballard has shared a heartfelt plea for LGBT rights.
Ken Ballard
Ken Ballard has shared a heartfelt plea for LGBT rights.
Now playing
01:17
Texas dad speaks out, supports transgender son
CNN
Now playing
01:21
Mom: Scouts kicked out my transgender son
zeke smith survivor transgender outed vstop dlewis orig_00000000.jpg
CBS / 'Survivor'
zeke smith survivor transgender outed vstop dlewis orig_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:21
Transgender 'Survivor' contestant outed
india hayes/cnn
Now playing
02:44
Transgender identity, in their words
Transgender mother suicide Trump bathroom order newday_00000000.jpg
Facebook/Katharine Prescott
Transgender mother suicide Trump bathroom order newday_00000000.jpg
Now playing
02:55
Mom of transgender teen who took own life speaks out
Betsy DeVos CPAC transgender bathroom bill_00002028.jpg
CNN
Betsy DeVos CPAC transgender bathroom bill_00002028.jpg
Now playing
00:59
DeVos: Transgender bathroom order an overreach
Now playing
02:07
WH: Transgender bathrooms a state issue
Transgender teen responds to Trump Gavin Grimm newday_00000000.jpg
Transgender teen responds to Trump Gavin Grimm newday_00000000.jpg
Now playing
03:08
Transgender teen responds to Trump
WDSU
Now playing
01:01
2 transgender women killed in 48 hours
gavin grimm scotus transgender bathroom case decision sot_00000528.jpg
WRIC
gavin grimm scotus transgender bathroom case decision sot_00000528.jpg
Now playing
01:09
Gavin Grimm: SCOTUS bathroom decision a detour

Story highlights

Last week, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps leaders requested a delay to the July 1 deadline

Many Republicans in Congress are opposed to allowing transgender people to serve

(CNN) —  

The Pentagon is delaying a decision on allowing transgender people to enlist in the military for six months, according to a memo obtained by CNN.

“We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in the memo.

Mattis said “this action in no way presupposes the outcome of the review.”

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban on transgender people being able to serve openly in the military, but he said the process would occur in stages.

Mattis was facing a July 1 deadline for deciding on transgender recruits.

Last week, leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps submitted a request to delay the July 1 deadline to decide whether incoming service members already identifying as transgender could enlist if they have been “stable” in their gender identity for 18 months.

Many Republicans in Congress are opposed to allowing transgender people to serve. An amendment that would have prevented transgender people from doing so was debated during Wednesday’s markup of the House’s defense authorization bill. The sponsor, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, said she would wait to see what the Pentagon did before moving forward with her provision.

The American Military Partner Association, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the military, said it was disappointed by Mattis’ decision.

“This six-month delay is disappointing because it unnecessarily delays the ability of transgender people to be open about their identity when entering the military,” the group’s president, Ashley Broadway-Mack, said in a statement. “It has been unequivocally proven that allowing qualified transgender people to serve openly strengthens our military and creates a more inclusive and diverse force. The issue has been thoroughly studied, and moving forward with this new recruitment policy is imperative in order for the military to be able to recruit the best talent our nation has to offer.”

Stephen Peters, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, argued that allowing transgender people to serve would benefit the military.

“Once this important policy is implemented, it will strengthen our military by allowing qualified and talented transgender people to enlist or commission,” said Peters, a Marine Corps veteran who was discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy instituted by President Bill Clinton’s administration, which barred openly gay people from serving in the military. “Each day that passes without the policy in place restricts the armed forces’ ability to recruit the best and the brightest, regardless of gender identity. We are disappointed in this needless delay because the thousands of highly trained and qualified transgender service members openly and proudly serving our nation today have proven that what matters is the ability to accomplish the mission, not their gender identity.”