Trump order would ban many transgender troops from serving
Trump order would ban many transgender troops from serving
Draft-Dodger Trump Bans Transgender People Serving Their Country
25 March, 2018, 01:21
In July 2017, Trump had announced reinstatement of the ban through a tweet, saying that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption" associated with transgender people.
President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that bans most transgender individuals from serving in the United States military, but gives the armed forces some latitude in implementing policies.
According to the document, "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".
In October, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that such a policy would be unconstitutional because it was based on "disapproval of transgender people generally".
Trump issued orders to ban transgender troops who require significant medical treatment to be exempt from the USA military with the exception of select cases.
In a statement, the White House defended the ban as a common-sense way to "apply well-established mental and physical health standards-including those regarding the use of medical drugs-equally to all individuals".
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.
"This is the same reckless ban that has been rejected by the federal courts, the American Medical Association, many bipartisan members of Congress, and most of the American people", said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
"Transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from service".
The president signed on Friday a memorandum, veto, which has been frozen in the courts since last December, but refers to a new policy recommended by the Pentagon that also represents a serious blow to the weakest link in the country, the LGTB community.
He also said that exceptions could be granted for people "who have been stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession;" or had been "diagnosed with gender dysphoria" after they entered the military but did not require a change for gender. There are over 1,300,000 active duty personnel of the USA military, according to July 2017 data from the Department of Defense.
Eastburn could not say how many transgender service members are in the military, because the Pentagon classifies troops as men or women.
Civil rights advocates said while some transgender service members might be permitted to continue to serve under the announced policy, the exceptions seemed unclear and the policy was likely to foster a hostile climate for those who seek to continue to serve. The Pentagon responded by allowing those serving to stay in the military, and began allowing transgender individuals to enlist beginning January 1.
But rather than addressing that narrow issue, Trump opted to upend the entire policy on transgender service members. "This is still a policy in search of a problem", said Natalie Nardecchia, a senior attorney with Lambda Legal.
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