President Donald Trump on Friday issued orders to ban transgender troops 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 fought out in the courts.
The memorandum, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, 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.”
From the White House:
Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state 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.
From Lambda Legal:
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.
From the Human Rights Campaign:
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. Donald Trump and Mike Pence are pushing their extreme anti-transgender prejudices onto the military over the overwhelming objections of bipartisan officials, national security leaders and the American public. 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.