Friday, 18 October, 2019

Trump Announces New Ban on Transgender Troops

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Thursday Trump Announces New Ban on Transgender Troops
Patty Aguilar | 24 March, 2018, 11:03

President Donald Trump has issued orders to ban on transgender troops, this time saying most will be not allowed to serve in the U.S. Military except in "limited circumstances".

"On the advice of these experts, the Secretary of Defence and the Secretary of Homeland Security have concluded that the accession or retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality, the White House said".

Critics have warned this ban will force transgender individual to hide their identities and reinforce harmful stereotypes about transgender people, more importantly the military will miss out on talented people who want to serve their country.

It allows transgender service members to serve openly, seek medical attention and allowed for recruits who have been stable in their gender for 18 months to join the military.

Mattis gave his private recommendation for the policy to Trump in late February, but it hasn't been revealed.

So, yes the ban's official, but for now, it's not enforceable and the Trump administration will have to fight in court to change that.

At least one openly transgender recruit has already signed a contract to join the U.S. military since a federal court ruled late a year ago that the military would have to accept transgender individuals. The panel dismissed the findings of a RAND Corp. report that shaped the Obama administration's policy on transgender service members, in part taking issue with that study's citing of foreign militaries' success with transgender troops. He did not discuss details of the guidance because it was a "private matter" between Mattis and Trump.

"What the White House released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy, for the sole objective of carrying out President Trump's reckless and unconstitutional ban", the civil rights organization tweeted.

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"Consistent with this new policy, we are asking the courts to lift all related preliminary injunctions in order to ensure the safety and security of the American people and the best fighting force in the world", it said in a statement.

In his presidential memorandum, Trump said transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria - those who may require substantial medical treatment - are "disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances".

On Friday, the Pentagon reaffirmed that it would continue to comply with federal law.

Trump tweeted last July that he wanted to ban all transgender service members because the military "must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory".

Although Trump defers to Mattis on implementing the prohibition on transgender military service, the action is moot because four trial courts and two circuit courts have determined barring transgender people from the military due to their gender identity.

This article has been updated with a statement from the Justice Department and Department of Defense.

Since then, transgender troops had been serving openly and successfully - until President Trump unleashed his incendiary barrage of uninformed tweets.

A 2016 study conducted by the government-funded RAND Corporation for the Pentagon estimated that almost 4,000 transgender troops were serving on active duty and in the reserves.

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