President Says Military 'Cannot Be Burdened With the Tremendous Medical Costs and Disruption'
President Donald Trump has just announced a total ban on transgender service members in the U.S. military. Via Twitter, the Commander-in-Chief, with absolutely no warning, said:
"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
Estimates vary, but there are up to about 10,000 transgender people honorably serving in the U.S. military, as NCRM reported earlier this month. A policy accommodating new trans service members was scheduled to go into effect July 1, but at the last minute, Secretary of Defense James Mattis postponed the change for another six months.
"We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality," Mattis wrote, announcing the delay. He added, "this action in no way presupposes the outcome of the review."
If Trump's tweets are to be taken verbatim, the military would in theory discharge about 10,000 Americans. Expect legal challenges to the new policy soon.
Vice President Mike Pence, who has been working for the ban, is likely the main reason for Trump's announcement.
Foreign Policy magazine Tuesday afternoon reported Pence "and his staff have been working quietly to get Congress to roll back the Defense Department's year-old policy covering medical procedures for transitioning service members, according to sources."
Family Research Council's President Tony Perkins has also been working to bar transgender service members.
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