President Donald Trump on Friday issued orders to ban most transgender people from serving in the USA military except under "limited circumstances, following up on his controversial proposal previous year that sparked a widespread backlash by LGBT rights groups".
Trump said in the statement late Friday that "transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria-individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery-are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances".
With pending lawsuits blocking implementation, the Trump administration released tonight its decision to enshrine in policy a ban on most transgender service members in the military.
The White House issued a memorandum on Friday night on policies determined by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, stating that transgenders were "disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances", The Hill magazine reported. It allows transgender service members to serve openly, seek medical attention and allowed for recruits who have been stable in their gender for 18 months to join the military.
The new direction comes after months of the Pentagon's grappling with how to change its policy after Trump unexpectedly tweeted July 26 that he was banning all transgender people from serving in the military.
"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", said HRC President Chad Griffin.
A court filing by the Trump administration said 8,980 service members reportedly identify as transgender, but only 937 active duty service members were diagnosed with gender dysphoria since June 30, 2016. Four federal judges have already temporarily blocked the ban from taking effect. The Pentagon responded by allowing those serving to stay in the military, and began allowing transgender individuals to enlist beginning January 1. "It's a gross mischaracterization of transgender people, and it's bad for our. military".
Although Trump defers to Mattis on implementing the prohibition on transgender military service, the action is moot because four trial courts and two circuit courts have determined barring transgender people from the military due to their gender identity. It is unclear what the results will be of Trump's new memo. Mattis said that he found a Rand Corp. study - commissioned by the Pentagon under Obama that became a backbone of the repeal process - to be flawed.
Pentagon spokesman US Army Maj.
As those cases proceed, many expect the issue to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
That's because several organizations, including GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), sued the USA government after Trump tapped out three tweets in July that hurled us into this controversy, blindsiding top military officials and activists.
"We are asking the courts to lift all related preliminary injunctions in order to ensure the safety and security of the American people and the best fighting force in the world", the statement added.
The policy for transgender troops was established in 2016 by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter. "I hope the president follows the recommendations of the secretary of defense". We worked through it with women.