Trump moves to ban most transgender troops

25 March, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • President Trump Makes Decision About Transgender Troops

In a revised directive, US President Donald Trump has said transgender troops are a considerable risk to military effectiveness.

After issuing a blanket ban on all transgender troops previous year that was held up in federal court, Trump issued a new memorandum that claims "transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition" cannot serve, the BBC reported.

"Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria - individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery - are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances", the memo released by the White House said.

Trump issued orders to ban transgender troops who require significant medical treatment to be exempt from the US military with the exception of select cases.

The White House followed the tweet with formal guidance in August, directing the Pentagon to develop a plan to bar transgender individuals from serving and end government-funded sex reassignment surgeries for troops, except to protect the health of a service member who had already begun transition.

Jennifer Levi, a transgender right project director for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders said in a statement, "This Trump-Pence plan categorically bans transgender people from service, with no legitimate basis". The RAND study found that the military budget would increase by between $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year if it covered the entire estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender people serving in the USA military, Fortune noted.

The new rules follow President Trump's calls a year ago for a complete ban on transgender military service.

The document said that the two cabinet secretaries recommended that people diagnosed with gender dysphoria be banned from military service.

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Reports have said it is still unclear whether this new policy will be enacted, and what the legal challenges will be.

The ban also received vast backlash with personnel terming it as "baseless" and "discriminatory". It comes after court rulings froze the president's initial ban on transgender troops - issued in July - as potentially unconstitutional.

Anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 transgender people are now serving as active-duty and reserve service members. "We will never stop fighting this discriminatory policy until every current and future transgender service member is treated equally and respected fully for their bravery".

However, a 2016 study by the RAND Corporation found that there would be "minimal impact on readiness and health care costs" if the Pentagon allowed transgender people to serve (Mattis argued in his recommendations that the study design was flawed). It does not change the law or overrule the decision of the Department of Defense to allow transgender enlistees into the service, which was opened as of January 1, 2018.

"Currently serving transgender service members will continue to go to work every day as they have before contributing to the readiness and lethality of the force".

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organisation, has denounced Mr Trump's "hastily tweeted troop ban" that has turned into official policy.

Senior staff attorney for the ACLU Joshua Block said, "What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy".

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