Donald Trump officially instructs Pentagon to indefinitely ban transgender troops
President Trump has officially and indefinitely instructed the Pentagon to ban transgender troops from serving in the US Military.
The Commander in Chief was accused of major hypocrisy after an address he made on Monday night about the US Military in which he said there was “no room for prejudice… for bigotry.”
Then on Friday he instructed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to permanently ban transgender troops from serving openly in a memo.
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) August 25, 2017
The memo gives Mattis six months to implement the ban, by 23 March 2018.
Mattis was also instructed to stop using funds for gender reassignment surgeries or medication related to transition.
It is unclear what will happen to the hundreds of transgender troops already serving.
According to the memo they will be assessed on a number of factors including “military effectiveness.”
It is unclear whether Mattis will be allowed to determine that some troops can stay.
Dana W White, on behalf of Mattis, simply said on Friday that he had received the memo and that “More information will be forthcoming.”
Trump tweeted the ban on transgender troops serving openly in the US military, claiming that he was doing a “great favour” to the military.
He cited costs, saying it would be too expensive to cover transgender health benefits for those serving.
But despite this it will cost the military 114 times more to ban transgender troops than it would to allow them to enlist.
Just weeks after announcing a ban on transgender troops in the US Military and days after white supremacists took to the streets, President Trump’s approval rating hit an all-time low.
Despite the assertion that it would cost the military too much to implement a transgender-inclusive policy, the Department of Defense spent five times more on Viagra in 2014 than it would on care for transgender troops.
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.
According to reports, the Pentagon was unaware that Trump was about to announce the rolling back of the Obama-era change.
It is not the first time Trump has gone out of his way to reverse a decision on LGBT rights made by Obama.
The GOP leader has already scrapped protections for transgender school kids, ceased government opposition to state-level anti-LGBT laws, and sought to slash HIV aid funding.
The decisions sour Trump’s previous claims during his election campaign to be a “friend” of LGBT people.
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In a speech directly after the Orlando massacre he had claimed: “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the L-G-B-T community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words.”
He also won endless praise from gay Republicans for waving a Pride flag on stage, while making no pledges on LGBT rights.
The ACLU has said it will take to the courts to challenge the ban.