Trump Bans Transgender Troops
President Donald Trump on Friday issued orders to ban transgender troops who require surgery or significant medical treatment from serving in the military except in select cases — following through on a controversial pledge last year that has been under review by the Pentagon and is being fought out in the courts.
The memorandum, which drew swift condemnation from gender rights groups, states that while the secretary of defense and other executive branch officials will have some latitude in implementing the policy,
“persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — including individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances.”
The memo also said that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, “in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded [the policies] should be adopted by the Department of Defense.” It added that “the Secretary of Homeland Security concurs with these policies with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard,” which would also be affected by the policy.
The decision comes after a number of top military officials over the past year– including most members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — have gone out of their way to defend the thousands of transgender troops who are believed to be serving in the military.
But in a subsequent statement, the White House press office on Friday explained that the policy was “developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans.”
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