Policy Would 'Phase Out' Transgender Service Members
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The White House has approved policy to ban transgender service members based on President Donald Trump's tweets last week. Called “A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out,” it was first reported by The Los Angeles Blade, late Friday night. It is expected to be delivered to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (photo) for review.
"Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the U.S. military was turned into a 'guidance' policy for implementation that passed muster with the White House Counsel’s office Friday night," The Blade reports.
Citing "sources familiar with the planning" The Blade's Karen Ocamb explains the White House policy "would encourage early retirement, usher out any enlisted personnel after their contract is up, and would fire trans officers up for promotion."
The Trump administration wants “to get rid of transgender servicemembers as fast as they can,” a source told The Blade.
The White House has not released any statement or publicly confirmed the guidance exists.
NCRM has been told by a source familiar with the White House and Pentagon plans that implementation could take time, and military leaders are opposed to Trump's ban.
Some have already spoken out. Admiral Paul Zukunft, the commandant of the Coast Guard, Tuesday said, "I will not turn my back" on a transgender soldier.
“I reached out personally to Lt. Taylor Miller, who was featured on the cover of The Washington Post last week,” Zukunft told the audience earlier this week during his appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, as NCRM reported Friday. “If you read that story, Taylor’s family has disowned her,” he said. “Her family is the United States Coast Guard. And I told Taylor, ’I will not turn my back. We have made an investment in you, and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.”
LGBT civil rights organizations are expected to file lawsuits as soon as any guidance or policy is announced. Lambda Legal said, "we are ready."
A new Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found nearly seven out of 10 American voters support transgender military service. 68 percent say transgender soldiers should be allowed to serve in the U.S. armed forces.
Last week, after Trump's trio of tweets announcing his transgender ban, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced there would be no changes until policy from the White House was received.
There are an estimated 15,000 transgender soldiers serving in the U.S. military. A small group of Republican members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, along with leaders of the religious far right and anti-LGBT hate groups, have been pushing for some action against transgender troops for months.
On Friday, Politico reported that President Trump last week unleashed his series of tweets announcing the ban after feeling frustrated that he was being “slow-walked,” and wanted to move forward with his ban.
"The administration had no plan in place, but Trump told others they would have to 'get in gear' if he announced the ban first, one White House adviser who spoke to Trump said. He also said the announcement would stop the lawyers from arguing with him anymore," Politico reported.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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Image: DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro, via Flickr