Donald Trump’s White House ready to brief Pentagon on enforcing transgender troops ban
President Trump’s White House is ready to brief the Pentagon on banning transgender people from the US military.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a memo from the White House will direct the Defence Department to enforce the ban.
The new policy, once enforced, will mean Defence Secretary James Mattis would have the power to dismiss service personnel purely because they are transgender.
Trump enraged LGBT activists by announcing the surprise ban on Twitter.
The 45th president wrote: “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.”
The policy change is said to have taken military bosses by surprise, with Trump reportedly not briefing colleagues on his decision.
Admiral of the US Coast Guard last month said he would defy the ban, and said he had personally spoken to all out trans members of the Coast Guard.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, subsequently had to clarify that there would be no change of Pentagon policy until details of the proposal were laid out.
The decision was allegedly made to appease anti-LGBT Republican lawmakers, as Trump struggles to pass his domestic policy agenda.
Out trans former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck challenged President Trump to tell her to her face that she is “not worthy” after he announced the policy.
She also noted the negligible cost of providing the healthcare to trans troops compared to other military costs.
Trump has since claimed he was doing the military “a great favour” by banning out transgender people from serving.
In a follow-up statement, the President said he has “great respect for the community” but that he thinks he is doing a “great favour” to the military by attempting to ban trans people from serving openly.
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He said: “I have great respect for the community… I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes.
“But the transgender, the military’s working on it now… It’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favour by coming out and just saying it.”
He added: “As you know, it’s been a very complicated issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favour.”
A poll found that a majority of military families oppose the ban.