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Trump Moves To Ban Most Transgender Individuals From Military Service

Trump Moves To Ban Most Transgender Individuals From Military Service

Enlistees who have been stable in their gender for at least three years may serve, as can as those who do not require medical transition or who enlisted under the Obama administration's policy prior to the new regulations.

Trump announced yet another effort to ban certain trans servicemembers from the military. In February, the Pentagon established a policy that dismisses troops if they can not deploy for a period of one year.

The Democratic National Committee also weighed in late Friday, calling the decision "an insult to our fearless transgender service members and all who wear our nation's uniform", adding that "discrimination is not a national security strategy".

In a Department of Defense memorandum to the president dated that was dated 22 February, defence secretary James Mattis said that after studying the question, the Pentagon "concludes that there are substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender". "No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the USA military should be turned away because of who they are".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi offered this sharp rebuke to the announcement: "No one with the strength & bravery to serve in the USA military should be turned away because of who they are". Before kicking anyone out or saying we couldn't serve, you have to realize we've already been serving. In November, US district judge Marvin Garbis in Baltimore, called the president's tweets announcing the change in policy "capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified".

The Human Rights Campaign accused the administration of "anti-transgender prejudices".

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"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, its president, said in a statement. "This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence", Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT and HIV Project, said in a statement Friday night. "The Secretary of Homeland Security concurs with these policies with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard", stated the memo.

In Mattis's February 22 memo to Trump explaining his recommendation, which the Pentagon made public late Friday night, he cited exceptions to the ban.

The issue has become mired in a complicated string of political statements, court decisions and policy reviews since Trump first stunned his administration with his tweets last July.

At the time, Trump said on Twitter, the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail". "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".

It's not known how many transgender troops are serving - estimates vary widely. 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. "It's a gross mischaracterization of transgender people, and it's bad for our military".

"I firmly believe that compelling behavioral health reasons require the department to proceed with caution before compounding the significant challenges inherent in treating gender dysphoria with the unique, highly stressful circumstances of military training and combat operations", he wrote, warning of problems with "unit cohesion" otherwise.

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