Monday, 15 October, 2018

Trump Memo Disqualifies Certain Transgender People From Military Service

Trump Memo Disqualifies Certain Transgender People From Military Service Trump Memo Disqualifies Certain Transgender People From Military Service
Judith Alexander | 25 March, 2018, 01:25

"I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, 'Military Service by Transgender Individuals, ' and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals", Trump's new memorandum said.

US President Donald Trump has pulled back from his blanket ban on transgender people serving in the military, giving the secretaries of defence and homeland security greater discretion over the issue.

In October, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia temporarily blocked Trump's ban and said the reasoning behind it was most likely unconstitutional because it represented a "disapproval of transgender people generally".

Matt Thorn of OutServe-SLDN, a group dedicated to LGBTQ equality in the military, said in a statement that "this policy is a thinly-veiled and feeble attempt by the Trump-Pence administration to justify the unnecessary discrimination of qualified patriots in order to advance their own personal agendas and in defiance of the administration's top military leadership".

Earlier Friday, Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the announcement of a new policy would have no immediate practical effect on the military because the Pentagon is obliged to continue to recruit and retain transgender people in accordance with current law.

"There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops", Chad Griffin, president of the advocacy group The Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

The memo goes further to specifically dictate that individuals who have sought any medical treatment related to their gender identity are thus banned from enlisting.

Last month the first openly transgender recruit joined the military.

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He reached this conclusion based on recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

"This policy was reverse-engineered for the sole objective of carrying out President Trump's reckless and unconstitutional ban", the union said. Only one exception is, that of those who declared themselves trans-gendered once Obama's policy was approved, that they would remain in the gender with which they identify themselves. The study concluded that allowing transgender troops to serve would have "minimal impact on readiness and health care costs".

Interestingly, the United States president's concern for "military effectiveness and lethality" has been discussed many times in the past after Trump was skewered by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) as a "five time draft-dodger" who refused to serve his country, to stop lecturing about military needs. Almost two-thirds (64%) of the public favor allowing transgender people to serve, while 30% oppose.

Mattis recommended that anyone diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the condition of wanting to transition gender, since the Obama administration ended the Pentagon's longtime ban on transgender service in 2016 may continue to serve.

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

It added: "What the White House released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy, for the sole goal of carrying out President Trump's reckless and unconstitutional ban".

The White House had said it would comply with court orders in favor of transgender troops and let the military proceed with accepting transgender recruits starting on January 1. They said they would continue to fight the policy in the courts.

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