The Problem with Trump's Military Transgender Ban

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Editor's note: Shannon Minter is the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Pentagon reporters don't usually do feelings, and we certainly don't spend a lot of time talking to service members - many of whom are skittish about speaking on the record to reporters anyway - about their feelings on Defense Department policy. Under well-settled law, the courts would nearly certainly hold that soldiers who came out as openly transgender in reliance on the military's own policy could not be subsequently penalized for doing so.

Hate crimes against non-whites are more likely across the board-and in the LGBTQ community, POC comprise more than half of the survivors, and about 24 percent of undocumented trans people have experienced physical attacks.

When pressed about that comparison, Perry said he doesn't "check on the price of Viagra".

Almost a week after President Donald Trump wrote a tweet that appeared to reinstate a ban on transgender service members, the U.S. military is still awaiting formal direction from the White House regarding any potential policy changes, a spokesman for the Pentagon said Monday.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford clarified Thursday to all service chiefs that there will be "no modifications to current policy" until the Defense Department receives Trump's order and official guidance is developed.

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She said: 'This is Trump showing he is a president for equality, because this isn't about transgender people, this is about transgender treatment'.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not have a definite answer on what would happen to active transgender military members.

More than a dozen other nations allow transgender troops to serve, and a 2014 study by the Palm Center, an LGBT research institute, noted "the top priority of the services was to maintain military readiness". With a tweet, the President has cast their status into doubt. We don't need righteous anti-Trump rants - we need jobs. The Department of Defense website still has a page showing its "Transgender Policy" which has been in place since June 30 of a year ago. "I think the cost of getting rid of very well-specialized, trained military service people is exponentially larger than just taking care of them", she said. A less-than-honorable discharge can leave veterans without access to benefits like VA services and access to the GI Bill.

A study previous year by RAND Corp. found that transgender military personnel have little to no impact on military readiness or medical costs. "And I believe that right now the policies that are in effect - unless a service chief brings something to me where there's a problem that's been proven - then I'm not going in with the idea that I'm going to review these and right away start rolling something back". But the rationale for that deference would be sharply undercut in this case.

The commander in chief went out of his way to weaken the United States military last week, with just a few brushes of his 140-character pen. Gorka doubled down on Trump's claim that having transgender people openly serving in the military would be "disruptive" by citing medical studies which show steep increases in suicide rates for members of the trans community. Judgments based on stereotypical views of masculinity and femininity are often faulty.

Who are these generals and military experts?

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