President Trump just banned most transgender people from signing up to the join the US military.
According to an official White House memo released yesterday (23 March), it’s not a blanket ban, like Trump first announced.
The memo states: ‘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.’
President Trump watered down this latest policy after trying to implement a blanket ban last July. But several legal challenges blocked it.
Trump randomly tweeted in July last year: ‘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.’
This latest announcement will not come into effect immediately because it is the subject of several ongoing lawsuits.
Military ban outcry: ‘Protect trans troops!’
Trans activists and allies condemned the anti-trans announcement.
‘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,’ HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. ‘We will never stop fighting this discriminatory policy.’
Many took to social media to defend trans rights, tweeting their support with #ProtectTransTroops.
BREAKING: The Department of Defense announced its plan tonight to implement President Trump’s directive to ban transgender service members from serving in the military.
— ACLU (@ACLU) 24 March 2018
Trans army veteran Charlotte Clymer tweeted: ‘It’s yet another day that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are exploiting our military for political points. As a military veteran and proud transgender woman, tonight hits home for me.’
Trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston also said: ‘Transgender folks are not idiots. We won’t take the bait — we know that we have allies in our military,’ she added.
Representative Beto O’Rourke then said: ‘I am grateful for the sacrifice of all those who serve and put their lives on the line for this country including transgender Americans.’