Trump Issues Late Night Policy Memo Banning Most Transgender Servicemembers

The Trump administration issued a new policy on transgender servicemembers late Friday night that was immediately slammed by LGBTQ and civil rights groups as discrimination masked as policy.

The Washington Post reports:

The decision revokes a full ban that Trump issued last summer but disqualifies U.S. troops who have had gender reassignment surgery, as recommended by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis…

…Current transgender service members who have not undergone reassignment surgery should be allowed to stay, as long as they have been medically stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex before joining the military and are able to deploy across the world, Mattis recommended.

“The plan has no immediate effect, as four federal courts have already issued nationwide preliminary injunctions stopping his ban from moving forward,” noted the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

RELATED: Trump Mulled the Transgender Military Ban for Just 10 Minutes Before Announcing It on Twitter: BOOK

The White House released this statement at 9:45 pm Friday night:

Today, the President rescinded his previous memorandum on transgender service in the military in order to allow Secretary Mattis to implement a new policy developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans.

The experts’ study sets forth a policy to enhance our military’s readiness, lethality, and effectiveness.  On the advice of these experts, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security have concluded that the accession or retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria—those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery—presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality.

This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards—including those regarding the use of medical drugs—equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen. The Secretary of Defense’s memorandum and accompanying report have been made public today.

The ACLU blasted the new policy:

“What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy. This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence. It is reverse-engineered for the sole purpose of carrying out President Trump’s reckless and unconstitutional ban, undermining the ability of transgender service members to serve openly and military readiness as a whole.

“The policy effectively coerces transgender people who wish to serve into choosing between their humanity and their country, and makes it clear that transgender service members are not welcome. Transgender people in our military deserve more from their government than a myth-driven proclamation about their unfitness for full civic inclusion.”

Lambda Legal responded:

“The ban was to go into effect today, March 23, based on the August 25, 2017 memorandum that followed the tweets, but has been stopped by preliminary injunctions won by Lambda Legal and others. On Tuesday, March 27, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN will be in court asking a federal judge to make the injunction permanent.”

Said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn about the implementation plan:

“The “plan” unveiled today is nothing more than a transparent ruse cobbled together with spittle and duct tape designed solely to try to mask discrimination. A plan to implement an unconstitutional decree is an unconstitutional plan. In 2016, after careful and deliberate study, the Pentagon determined that the prohibition on open service by transgender people lacked any foundation and lifted the ban. Since then, transgender troops had been serving openly and successfully — until President Trump unleashed his incendiary barrage of uninformed tweets. We, along with our sibling organizations, moved quickly to block implementation of the plan, and every single federal court to look at this policy – six to date – has found that it reeks of undisguised and unlawful discrimination against qualified transgender people willing and able to serve our country, and blocked its implementation. That block remains in effect, notwithstanding the release of the plan today.”

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