Donald Trump signs new transgender military ban

25 March, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Otis Hoffman
  • Trump issues order to ban most transgender troops from serving in military

"After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the USA government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military", the president said then, though the announcement seemed to catch the Pentagon off guard.

Transgender troops who are in the US military may remain in the ranks, the White House said late Friday, but the Pentagon could require them to serve according to their gender at birth.

Under the new policy proposal, transgender Americans "who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service", while transgender troops now serving will essentially be asked to deny their own gender identity, as the Pentagon will be able to demand that they serve according to the gender they were assigned at birth. That ban has been challenged by both the ACLU and Lambda Legal, and its implementation was temporarily blocked by a federal court.

Among those critics was Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, who tweeted that "t$3 ransgender members of our military have done more to serve and protect this country than Donald Trump ever will".

The Pentagon has not said when the new rule is set to take effect, stating only that it will "continue to assess and retain transgender service members".

But the US Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer said the policy still amounted to a ban, calling it "yet another Trump-Pence decision meant to drive a wedge in our society".

People who have undergone gender transition treatment are barred because it may not "fully remedy. the mental health problems associated with gender dysphoria", the report said, also noting the time required for treatment.

The policy adopts recommendations that President Trump received from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. "This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence".

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The document said that the two cabinet secretaries recommended that people diagnosed with gender dysphoria be banned from military service. The White House said Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen agreed with the policy.

"What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy", said Joshua Block, a senior staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement.

The Democratic National Committee also weighed in late Friday, calling the decision "an insult to our fearless transgender service members and all who wear our nation's uniform", adding that "discrimination is not a national security strategy".

Many members of Congress also spoke out against the ban, including veteran Tammy Duckworth.

The White House said allowing transgender troops to serve "presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality", according to the AP.

"There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops", the organization's president Chad Griffin said.

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. The Pentagon said Friday that it will continue to abide by Obama-era policies welcoming transgender troops while those legal battles continue.

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