President Trump's order would ban most transgender troops from serving

Munroe Bergdorf

The new directive adopts recommendations from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis that "transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition" can not serve. The military has subsequently accepted at least one openly transgender recruit in 2018.

The reaction from the left online was collective outrage, resulting in the hashtag #ProtectTransTroops trending, but as Mark Dice noted: "Banning transgenders from the military is the best way to #ProtectTransTroops from harming the effectiveness of our military, or harming themselves due to their issues". Additionally, troops who haven't had gender reassignment surgery can stay so long as they have been "medically stable for 36 months consecutive months in their biological sex before joining the military and are able to deploy across the world".

Most notably, beginning January 1, the Pentagon complied with a court order that allowed transgender individuals to join the military if they met strict criteria, including certifications from a medical provider about the status of their health.

President Trump released an order Friday night banning most transgender troops from serving in the military except under "limited circumstances", following up on his calls a year ago to ban transgender individuals from serving. "This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump had rescinded his previous policy to allow this new policy to take its place.

On Friday, Pentagon officials said they would continue to comply with federal law.

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The new order follows a Pentagon policy review initiated by July tweets by Trump, in which he suggested that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the us military "in any capacity".

President Trump surprised the Pentagon's leadership in a 2017 tweet when he declared he would reverse an Obama-era plan to allow transgender individuals to serve openly.

Trump announced the ban in July to resolve a quietly brewing fight on Capitol Hill over whether taxpayer money should pay for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members.

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

In 2016, after careful and deliberate study, the Pentagon determined that the prohibition on open service by transgender people lacked any foundation and lifted the ban. 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. In his tweet past year, Trump told Mattis a day before he announced the decision on Twitter, and didn't consult senior military commanders beforehand. Accordingly, transgender troops now serving may continue to do so, however, the Pentagon has the option to "require them to serve according to the gender at birth".

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". That's all. This president will forever be remembered for his bigoted and spineless attacks on trans troops bravely serving our nation.

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