US military repeals ban on transgender service members
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks about the Pentagon budget on February 2, 2016 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

The U.S. military is ending its ban on openly serving transgender service members, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement on Thursday.

Carter said effective immediately, U.S. service members would be able to serve openly and could not be discharged simply on the basis of their gender identity.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali, Yeganeh Torbati and Phil Stewart, editing by G Crosse)