Trump bans most transgenders from serving in military
Trump bans most transgenders from serving in military
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25 March, 2018, 01:21
President Donald Trump issued an order late Friday that supports a ban on many transgender troops, deferring to a new Pentagon plan that essentially cancels a policy adopted by the Obama administration.
Among those critics was Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, who tweeted that "t$3 ransgender members of our military have done more to serve and protect this country than Donald Trump ever will".
The new policy banning transgender people from military service offers a few exceptions.
"This Trump-Pence plan categorically bans transgender people from service, with no legitimate basis", added Jennifer Levi, transgender right project director for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, in a statement.
Additionally, troops who haven't had gender reassignment surgery can stay so long as they have been "medically stable for 36 months consecutive months in their biological sex before joining the military and are able to deploy across the world". The RAND study found that the military budget would increase by between $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year if it covered the entire estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender people serving in the US military, Fortune noted. Fast forward to present day, the policy recommendation has been finalized and Trump has quickly signed off on it, pending a congressional hearing.
In removing the ban, then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter stopped the military from involuntarily separating anyone in the service, and gave the service branches a year to iron out how they would begin processing transgender recruits. "It is reverse-engineered for the sole goal 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". "We will never stop fighting this discriminatory policy until every current and future transgender service member is treated equally and respected fully for their bravery".
The study estimated that health care costs would rise $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year, representing an infinitesimal 0.04 to 0.13 percent increase in spending. According to the ban, these individuals will be allowed to continue to serve in the military. Almost two-thirds (64%) of the public favor allowing transgender people to serve, while 30% oppose.
A Defense Department spokesman said the Pentagon would "continue to assess and retain transgender service members".
"What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy", said Joshua Block, a senior staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement.
Reports have said it is still unclear whether this new policy will be enacted, and what the legal challenges will be. They have before. But should that fail (let's not forget, Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced S.1820, a bill "to provide for the retention and service of transgender members of the Armed Forces", back in September of 2017.
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