Trump moves to ban transgender people from serving in the military

Protests against US President Donald Trump during a demonstration in 2017 in front of the US Army career center in Times Square New York.
Trump

Just before 9:30 Friday night the White House issued a memorandum announcing President Trump's decision to ban (nearly) all transgender troops.

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

The memo does allow for some leeway in implementing the policy.

"The Trump-Pence administration's continued insistence on targeting our military families for discrimination is appalling, reckless, and unpatriotic", added American Military Partner Association president Ashley Broadway-Mack.

Federal judges required the military to allow transgender recruits beginning January 1, and the Pentagon signaled in December that it would not stand in the way of the courts' rulings.

The White House said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had found that individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria presented a risk to military effectiveness.

After Trump initially tweeted his announcement of a ban, transgender troops took the policy to court, which halted its implementation.

In August, Trump declared March 23 would be the day his ban would be fully implemented.

The president gave Defense Secretary James Mattis six months to develop proposals for transgender individuals now serving, and Mattis submitted his recommendations last month, but those recommendations have not been revealed.

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Several federal courts blocked Trump's initial ban, with one ruling in November that the military would be forced to resume accepting transgender recruits starting this year.

But in a subsequent statement, the White House press office on Friday explained that the policy was "developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans". "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". 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.

The Democratic National Committee criticised the move as an insult to transgender service members.

The President issued an order Friday to ban transgender troops. except for under limited circumstances.

Without a new policy, the Pentagon would have reverted to its pre-2016 practice that effectively banned transgender troops from service on medical grounds.

The Palm Centre, a group that promotes the study of LGBT people in the military, accused the Pentagon of having "distorted the science on transgender health to prop up irrational and legally untenable discrimination that will erode military readiness".

"We will continue to adhere to federal law", Department of Defense spokesperson Maj.

"After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the US government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the USA military", the president said then, though the announcement seemed to catch the Pentagon off guard. It is unclear what the results will be of Trump's new memo.

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