White House announces ban on most transgender service members

White House announces ban on most transgender service members

Consistent with expectations for timing for the new policy, President Trump issued a memo late Friday on transgender military service that - while moot thanks to court orders against banning transgender troops - nonetheless reaffirms policy against their service.

"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", Mr Trump's new memorandum said.

In a statement from the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the military's memo about allowing transgender service members to serve.

"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.

At least one openly transgender recruit has already signed a contract to join the U.S. military since a federal court ruled late a year ago that the military would have to accept transgender individuals.

Trump said in a memorandum that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has concluded that transgender people who have a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria should be disqualified from military service, except under limited circumstances.

A number of federal judges have issued rulings blocking Trump's ban, saying it would probably violate the right, under the US Constitution, to equal protection under the law. 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.

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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After several federal courts ruled President Trump's proposed full ban on transgender service members unconstitutional, the Pentagon was been tasked with providing the White House with alternate guidelines for service. The policy is based on an "extensive study" by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, according to the White House.

The medical diagnosis of "gender dysphoria", however, does not necessarily apply to transgender individuals. "This hateful ban is purpose-built to humiliate our fearless transgender members of the military who serve with honor & dignity".

Pentagon spokesman US Army Maj.

"The Department of Justice will continue to defend the Department of Defense's lawful authority to create and implement personnel policies they have determined are necessary to best defend our nation".

The decision comes after Trump's initial pledge was severely criticized by LGBTQ rights groups and top military officials, including most members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"This decision is an insult to our courageous transgender service members and all who wear our nation's uniform", DNC Chair Tom Perez said.

Opponents, some of whom had been fighting the administration in court, quickly responded to Trump's latest statement.

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