Seeking to overturn a ban imposed by the federal government, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently affirmed that transgender individuals are medically fit to join the United States' military.
The largest doctors' group in the US on Monday issued a resolution unanimously approved by its policy-making House of Delegates saying that there is "no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from service in the US military."
The AMA also asserted in its resolution that "transgender service members should receive care according to the same medical standards that apply to all other military personnel."
Dr. Robert Wah, AMA president, said his group's new policy seeks to encourage the US military to open up its doors to transgender individuals.
"The new AMA policy adds to a growing public consensus, including former public health and military officers, which questions the military's policies toward transgender individuals, and the negative impact these policies have on the health and of transgender service members," Wah said.
Dr. Brian Hurley, an AMA delegate and advocate of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, meanwhile described the new policy of the doctors' groups as an "important contribution toward ending transgender military exclusion and advancing transgender equality."
"The entire idea of transgender service members being medically unfit to serve is based on this notion that being transgender means you're medically unfit... The AMA says that's not true. So I think it has the potential for a tremendous impact," Hurley said.
The US military bans openly transgender individuals from service. However, a recent report by the Williams Institute said some 15,500 transgender people who are not publicly out are active members of the military.
Last week, the US Air Force similarly said "neither gender dysphoria nor self-identification as transgender" is ground for discharge from military service.
Rights of transgender individuals have come to the public attention recently following Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete Bruce Jenner's announcement that he has become a woman, calling himself "Caitlyn."